COLUMBIA, SC, USA U.S. Army SGT, TROOP B, 1ST SQUADRON, 89TH CAV REGT, 2 BCT, 10TH MOUNTAIN DIV BAGHDAD, IRAQ 02/19/2007
“He loved what he was doing,” his father, Micheal Dunkin of York, S.C., said yesterday. “He felt like it was important and he was going to continue to do it.”
Twenty-five year old Shawn Dunkin was a cavalry scout leader with B Troop, 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, part of the 10th Mountain’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
“That’s my brother,” his sister, Tracie Dunkin of Louisville, Ky., said yesterday, “and he is a hero.”
“He was so laid back,” she said. “There was never a reason to think he wouldn’t be home because his . . . luck would get him by so many times.”
Born in Petersburg, Dunkin graduated from Alleghany High School in 1999.
“He was an all-American boy,” his father, a retired Army aviator, said of his son’s youth in Covington. “He hunted, he fished, he enjoyed being outside.”
Dunkin joined the Army in January 2001 and completed his training at Fort Knox, Ky. “He felt a sense of duty and he enlisted,” the elder Dunkin said.
“My brother, my friend, my role model,” one soldier wrote on Dunkin’s MySpace page. “You taught me so much, I thank you. We sent [you] home today. You are among the bravest of the brave. I love you, buddy.”
Dunkin was on his second tour in Iraq, having served there in an armor unit in 2003. A lean 6-footer, “every time he went to Iraq, he lost more weight,” his sister said.
A graduate of the Army’s Warrior Leader Course, Dunkin discussed joining the Army’s Special Forces when he returned from Iraq, Micheal Dunkin said.
His military decorations include the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the Combat Action Badge.
Besides his father and sister, he is survived by his wife, Ashley Dunkin of Watertown, N.Y, and his mother, Darlene Kelly of Portsmouth.