NORCROSS, GA, US
SGT, HHC, 1ST BN, 108TH ARMOR (TF BAGHDAD), CALHOUN, GA
01/14/2010, AL MAHMUDIYAH, IRAQ
Paul A Saylor was only 21 when his short life ended in Al Mahmudiyah, Iraq. He was part of the Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 108th Armor Regiment out of Calhoun Ga. On August 15, 2005, Paul along with 2 other Guardsmen drowned when their Humvee ran off the road and toppled into a canal.
Paul was a 2002 graduate from Bremen High School, where he was the school’s homecoming king and a starter on the football team. He was also a part of the drama club playing parts like Danny Zuko of “Grease”, and Mortimer Brewster from “Arsenic and Old Lace”. Sharon Sewell, Bremen mayor, described Paul as always cheerful and helpful. “This entire campus is marked with his footsteps,” said Sewell as she spoke about him. Sewell also proclaimed Dec. 16 as Paul Saylor day in Bremen to honor his memory.
Paul had a heart for caring for people, when he was in the either grade, he won an award for starting a shoe-box care-kit drive to deliver to nursing homes. It was no wonder that he was voted “best personality” in his senior class. Paul was well-mannered, respectful and well liked within the school. He attended North Georgia College and State University, a military college in Dahlonega where he joined the Georgia National Guard knowing there was the possibility to deploy, and in June 2005 his unit deployed to Iraq.
I want to request this portrait for Paul’s parents: Jamie and Patti Saylor, who were never able to see their son one last time.
Although Paul’s body was flown from Iraq to Dover Air Force Base, Del., embalmed there, and then flown home to Bremen in just three days, his body was so decomposed that the Army deemed him “non-viewable.”
When the Army casualty officers came to the Saylor home “and told me Paul had drowned, I thought to myself, at least I’ll get to see him,’” said his mother, Patti Saylor, thinking of the many families whose children were too badly mangled by IEDs to be recognized in death. But when Paul’s casket arrived at the airport, the family learned that the Army had deemed him “non-viewable.”
Bill Hightower, a funeral director and a family friend, said there was only one way to recognize the child he had watched grow into a man. “I recognized his nose,” Hightower told. “Just his nose.”
Patti said she still hoped that she could see her child one last time, even if the casket would have to be closed during his funeral.
Paul will always be remembered for the amazing man he grew up to be, and his wonderful amazing smile, which could light up a room, even on a cold rainy day.
Hopefully with the portrait, his family will feel that he is with them and watching over them always.