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Memorial honoring fallen Team Vandenberg member held in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq --  A seven riflemen team rendered military honors by firing three volleys at the May 28 memorial for Cmdr. Duane Wolfe in Baghdad, Iraq. Sgt. Maj. Paul Yingst, in the foreground, served as the non-commissioned officer in charge of the rifle team. (USACE photo courtesy of F.T. Eyre)

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A seven riflemen team rendered military honors by firing three volleys at the May 28 memorial for Cmdr. Duane Wolfe in Baghdad, Iraq. Sgt. Maj. Paul Yingst, in the foreground, served as the non-commissioned officer in charge of the rifle team. (USACE photo courtesy of F.T. Eyre)

BAGHDAD, Iraq --  Maj. Gen. Michael R. Eyre, commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division in Iraq, and Chaplain Daniel Middlebrooks at the May 28 memorial for Navy Cmdr. Duane Wolfe in Baghdad’s International Zone. Eyre described Commander Wolfe as “the very best of our American military forces” and said he served his nation with “honor and devotion.” (USACE photo courtesy of F.T. Eyre)

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Maj. Gen. Michael R. Eyre, commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division in Iraq, and Chaplain Daniel Middlebrooks at the May 28 memorial for Navy Cmdr. Duane Wolfe in Baghdad’s International Zone. Eyre described Commander Wolfe as “the very best of our American military forces” and said he served his nation with “honor and devotion.” (USACE photo courtesy of F.T. Eyre)

BAGHDAD, Iraq --  Coalition Forces, State Department representatives and Iraqis gathered together May 28 to pay tribute to Cmdr. Duane Wolfe of Los Osos, Calif. Cmdr. Wolfe began his military career with the U.S. Navy in 1972 and served five
years on active duty. He joined the U.S. Navy Reserves in 1978 and served until his death, May 25, 2009. (USACE photo courtesy of F.T. Eyre)

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Coalition Forces, State Department representatives and Iraqis gathered together May 28 to pay tribute to Cmdr. Duane Wolfe of Los Osos, Calif. Cmdr. Wolfe began his military career with the U.S. Navy in 1972 and served five years on active duty. He joined the U.S. Navy Reserves in 1978 and served until his death, May 25, 2009. (USACE photo courtesy of F.T. Eyre)

BAGHDAD, Iraq --  A fallen servicemember display for Cmdr. Duane Wolfe. The helmet and identification tags signify the fallen warrior. The inverted rifle signals a time for prayer, a break in the action to pay tribute. The combat boots represent the final march of the last battle. (USACE photo courtesy of F.T. Eyre)

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A fallen servicemember display for Cmdr. Duane Wolfe. The helmet and identification tags signify the fallen warrior. The inverted rifle signals a time for prayer, a break in the action to pay tribute. The combat boots represent the final march of the last battle. (USACE photo courtesy of F.T. Eyre)

BAGHDAD, Iraq --  Servicemembers in Baghdad render military honors to Cmdr. Duane Wolfe during a memorial ceremony held in the International Zone May 28. Commander Wolfe was killed May 25 in Fallujah when the vehicle he was traveling in was struck by an improvised explosive device. (USACE photo courtesy of F.T. Eyre)

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Servicemembers in Baghdad render military honors to Cmdr. Duane Wolfe during a memorial ceremony held in the International Zone May 28. Commander Wolfe was killed May 25 in Fallujah when the vehicle he was traveling in was struck by an improvised explosive device. (USACE photo courtesy of F.T. Eyre)

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Coalition Forces, State Department representatives and Iraqis gathered together May 28 at an afternoon memorial in Baghdad's International Zone honoring the life and service of Cmdr. Duane G. Wolfe. The Department of Defense announced Wednesday that Cmdr. Wolfe was among three people killed by a roadside bomb in Fallujah on Monday. 

Commander Wolfe was the officer in charge of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division's Al-Anbar Area Office, which falls under the division's Gulf Region Central district. At the time of his death, Commander Wolfe was conducting site visits at construction projects in the Fallujah area. The team he led is responsible for overseeing nearly $300 million in planned and ongoing construction projects, many of which are providing essential services to the Iraqi people.

The memorial included remarks from Maj. Gen. Michael R. Eyre, GRD's commanding general; a recitation of the Sailor's Creed; a memorial message from Chaplain Daniel Middlebrooks; a rendition of Amazing Grace played on bagpipes; and the rendering of military honors including a Last Roll Call and seven riflemen firing three volleys.

In his remarks General Eyre remembered Commander Wolfe as a man who served his nation with "honor and devotion."

"Commander Wolfe represented the very best of our American military forces," General Eyre said. "He was a Navy Reserve officer who loved his country and he knew that the work he and his team at the Al-Anbar Area Office were accomplishing was making a difference for the citizens of Iraq. His death is a tremendous loss not only for us, but also for the people he was so determined to assist.

"As we mourn the loss of our teammate, we also mourn the loss of a loving husband and father," the general continued. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family back home. May they find strength and solace in knowing that he perished while upholding the Navy's core values of honor, courage and commitment." 

Directing his comments to Commander Wolfe's family back in the States, General Eyre said, "The entire GRD family is thinking of you today and praying that the sorrow you are feeling right now will be replaced with the good memories of how your husband and father chose to live his life - committed and dedicated to a larger mission."

Commander Wolfe resided in Los Osos, Calif. He began his military career with the U.S. Navy in 1972 and served on active duty for 5 years. In 1978, he joined the U.S. Navy Reserves and served until his death, May 25, 2009. In addition to his military service, he was a Department of the Air Force civilian employee, working at Vandenberg Air Force Base as the civilian Deputy Commander of the 30th Space Wing Mission Support Group.
Commander Wolfe will posthumously receive the Bronze Star with "V" Device for Valor; Purple Heart; Navy Combat Action Ribbon; National Defense Service Medal with Service Star; Iraqi Campaign Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal with "M" Device for Mobilization; Overseas Service Ribbon; and the Army Combat Action Badge.