Friday, July 20, 2007

Jeffrey Chaney remembered

Petty Officer 1st Class Jeffrey Chaney was such a good recruiter, he brought his own brother into the Navy.

"He would say, 'If you walk through my door, I'm recruiting you,' and Randy walked through his door," said April Chaney, his sister. Randy Chaney of Omaha is still in the Navy.

Jeffrey Chaney's success -- in the four years he spent as a recruiter and throughout a 14-year Navy career -- was a direct result of his passion for serving his country, April Chaney said.

"(He) loved the Navy; he just loved everything about his job. He was always talking about it," she said.

Jeffrey Chaney, 35, of Omaha was killed by a roadside bomb Tuesday in Iraq.

Chaney and Chief Petty Officer Patrick L. Wade, 38, of Key West, Fla., were killed while conducting combat operations in Salahuddin province, said Kim Martin, a spokeswoman for Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash., where Chaney was stationed.

Both sailors were assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 11 and worked to disarm and dispose of explosives.

"This is a great loss to their family, friends and the entire (ordnance disposal) community," said Capt. Barry Coceano, commander of Chaney's unit, in a statement Thursday. "They are heroes and role models."

Chaney had been in Iraq about two months, his sister said.

He graduated in 1990 from Bellevue West High School and joined the Navy in 1993.

He dreamed of becoming a Navy SEAL, but problems with his eyesight prevented that, April Chaney said. However, she said, his current job was the next best thing.

Jeffrey Chaney has a daughter, Brianna Chaney, 14, also of Omaha. Her birth was his proudest moment, April Chaney said.

Next on the list was when he met Mikhail Gorbachev and former President George H.W. Bush while working with the Secret Service at Bush's 80th birthday celebration. He never thought he'd ever get to do anything like that in his life, his sister said.

Jeffrey Chaney also worked with the Secret Service, checking areas for explosives in the most recent presidential election, during which he met both President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry.

Other survivors include his mother, Connie Chaney of Omaha; his father, Larry Chaney of Bloomington, Minn.; and brother Jim Eckert of Oakland, Iowa.

From the Bellevue Leader

Related Link:
Jeffrey L. Chaney dies 'as a result of enemy action while conducting combat operations'