VALPARAISO, IN, U.S.A.
PFC,C CO,1st BN,21st INREG,25th IN DIV,SCHOFIELD BARRACKS,HI
04/04/2004, KIRKUK, IRAQ
Several hundred people, family, friends and strangers gathered to say farewell to PFC John D. Amos in his hometown of Valparaiso. His mother Susan Amos knew “John would have loved all the attention.”
Because of the September 11th terrorist attacks, John determined that he had a duty to his country. He enlisted in the Army in 2002 wanting to protect people from danger and help those in trouble. The attacks on the United States “…really upset him very much.” according to Susan Amos.
His mother and sister think of John as warmhearted and fun-loving. He loved to hang out with his friends. He intended to become a state trooper or a SWAT team member once his enlistment was up. Mother and son spoke last March 7th, the eve of John’s 20th birthday. John never talked about the war. “He knew that I was scared,” she said. “I would always tell him `stay safe.”
At the memorial service for PFC Amos at Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq, SPC Jarod Myers faced the day trying to accept the death of his best friend John Amos. Myers described PFC Amos as a straight shooter, who would tell you what he thought. He was a very, very caring person.”
John thought about his future. PFC Amos considered going to Las Vegas to be a metro police officer, at the same time talking about getting the Army Ranger tab. “His father was a Ranger back in the day, and he kind of wanted to follow in his footsteps.”
Better than 500 soldiers said goodbye to the man some knew very well, others not at all.
Charlie Company commander CPT Bill Venable said PFC Amos’ actions saved lives. “I have no doubt there are soldiers alive in this room today, including myself … because of the courageous actions of John D. Amos.” He went on to describe Amos as a “quiet professional and mature beyond his years.”
For SPC Myers the day was a harsh confrontation of the hardship of war.
“Losing your best friend and seeing what I saw literally scarred me for life. It ain’t no movie. This is real. That’s why we’re here experiencing it, so people back home don’t have to.”