WEST SAINT PAUL, MN, USA U.S. Army SGM, COMPANY A, 134TH BRIGADE SUPPORT BATTALION, CAMP RIPLEY, MN LSA ADDER, IRAQ 02/01/2007
In December, while home on a brief leave, Michael C. Mettille talked with his daughter Elizabeth about how much he loved being a soldier.
I was really proud of him, and I enjoyed hearing about all the good things he did for people, she said. He was in charge of a lot of people’s lives and well-being, and it was heartwarming to hear him helping other people and doing what he could to make people feel that there was someone there for them.
Mettille, 44, of West St. Paul, Minn., was found dead Feb. 1 in his barracks at Camp Adder of an apparent heart attack. He was assigned to Brooklyn Park.
Mettille, who earned a computer science degree from Winona State University in 1986, was a career soldier with more than 26 years of service and was on his second tour of Iraq. He was deployed in 2003 to Bosnia.
He organized Operation Uplink, helping provide overseas soldiers with phone cards to keep in touch with their families. He also wrote for his battalion’s newsletter, the Wolverine Times Gazette.
He also is survived by his wife, Pam; daughter Mary, 11; and two sons, Michael, 18, and Thomas, 9.
From his memorial service:
“Sergeant Major Mettille can not only describe to you what a leader is and what it takes, but also how to become a better leader and grow,” said Staff Sergeant Jonathan Tabatt. “Sergeant Major Mettille has influenced each one of us here in one way or another, and has truly earned the title of ‘mentor.’ He has mentored us to prepare for the worst and strive to achieve the best.
“Every one of us here are better people to have known you and served with you,” continued Tabatt. “You will be missed, you will be honored and above all, you will always be remembered. God bless, and rest in peace.”
Captain Sharon Meschke, A Co., 134th BSB company commander, said that with Mettille’s death their unit had “lost a warrior and a vital leader within the company.” Mettille dedicated his life to caring for his Soldiers, Meschke said, and that dedication was evident throughout his 26 years of service in the military.
“Today, we mourn his passing and honor his service,” said Meschke. “As the first sergeant, he was the heart and soul of the company. He always shed a positive light on any situation. He was full of energy, and I trusted him completely. Above all, what he was admired for was how he personally cared for each Soldier in the company and their families.”