Monday, August 06, 2007

Travis Bachman remembered by wife

Garden City resident Amber Bachman was counting down the days when her husband, Travis, stationed overseas, would be coming home.

In three weeks he would be kissing his babies and telling them how much he loved them in person, rather than on the phone or through an e-mail.

"He was so close," Amber Bachman said. "He told me he couldn't wait to come home -- to spend time with us and be a family again."

Travis Bachman, 30, a staff sergeant for the Kansas National Guard, was killed Wednesday in Iraq when a improvised explosive device exploded near his vehicle, according to the Adjutant General's Office.

He was a member of the 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery.

Amber Bachman said her husband was a soldier who carried the pulse of his men with him.

She said, to Travis, his company was his family and he would do anything for anyone, including putting a flag-draped coffin of a soldier on a plane to send him home.

"He told me that was the hardest thing he had ever had to do in his military career," she said.

Amber Bachman said her husband had found fellow Guardsman, Sgt. Courtney Finch, 27, dead in his room in Iraq. Finch had died in a noncombatant incident.

She said the two men didn't know each other outside of the military but had been deployed together to Iraq and Kosovo.

"Travis told me when he closed his eyes. He could still see him (Finch)," she said. "It was a nightmare for him."

Amber Bachman said she kept in contact with her husband as much as possible and said she remembers the last conversation she had with him on Monday and the concerns he had voiced to her.

"He told me people were getting stupid over there," she said. "He told me he was scared and worried. He was so close to coming home and things were getting tough."

A family friend, LaDawn Christmann, said this morning that she and Travis Bachman had been friends for 16 years and he was planning something special for his wife and 4-year-old son, Tyler.

She said she had talked to him in an e-mail, and he had asked for information about a plane ride.

"Travis always talked about his family," she said. "He loved them so much, and he wanted to come home and spend as much time with them as he could."

Christmann said he was planning to take his wife and son on a plane ride, just the three of them, and wanted to know if someone could arrange it.

She said she and Travis Bachman began their friendship back in high school and through the years became more than friends -- they became family.

"He was like a brother to me," she said. "If I was having a bad day, he did everything in his power to cheer me up. He was that kind of guy."

Travis Bachman grew up in Garden City and is the son of Rodney and Connie Bachman. Rodney Bachman is a Garden City police lieutenant.

Travis Bachman joined the military in 1993 and will be buried in his hometown. Funeral arrangements are pending.

The couple also have a daughter, Kaleigh, 8 months. Travis Bachman also is survived by a 10-year-old son, Zachary.

"Travis was a soldier -- a husband and a father," Amber Bachman said. "To me -- our relationship, his relationship with his children -- was perfect. No words could ever express it."

From the Garden City Telegram

Related Link:
Travis S. Bachman reported killed in Iraq