HAMILTON, TN, USA
PFC, COMPANY A, 1ST BATTALION, 5TH CAVALRY, 2 BCT, FORT HOOD, TX
BAGHDAD, IRAQ 05/19/2007
Travis F. Haslip was his father’s fishing and camping partner, and the elder Haslip recently bought a new aluminum boat that he hoped to use after his son returned from Iraq. He was supposed to come back and go fishing this summer, said his father, Fred Haslip. I’m really going to miss just being around him.
Haslip, 20, of Ooltewah, Tenn., was killed May 19 in Baghdad. A graduate from Chattanooga State Technical Community College with a degree in welding, he was assigned to Fort Hood.
During two weeks of leave in March, Haslip brought home slides from his time in Iraq and told stories about the people he had met there. He was particularly affected by the Iraqi children, whom he felt were innocent victims of the conflict, said pastor Jose Nieves.
On his MySpace.com page, Haslip posted a photo of his boot-clad feet caked in mud and a picture of a mud man he built in observance of Christmas. That’s pretty much what Iraq is like this time of year, he wrote. Nothing but mud and more mud.
Haslip, 20, was a laid-back person who liked to keep a low profile and would have been surprised by the outpouring of support, said Derek Blevins, a longtime friend of Haslip’s.
Sergeant 1st Class Kendra Biggs, who served in Iraq with the Army Reserve in 2004 and 2005, was on her way to do some shopping when she saw people lining up with flags outside a funeral home. She called her husband, Brack Biggs, to join her for the procession with the couple’s 10-month-old baby.
“We just wanted to let the family know that they are supported,” Kendra Biggs said.
Joey Hughes showed up wearing a Marine Corps T-shirt. Hughes was recently recalled by the Marine Corps after serving from 2002 to 2006 and has orders to report in October for deployment to Iraq.
He held a flag Monday in honor of a soldier he never met, he said, because “I think this young man deserves his proper due.”
Haslip and five other soldiers were killed May 19 in Baghdad when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle. After joining the Army in December 2005, Haslip was assigned in June 2006 to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, at Fort Hood, Texas. Four months later, he left for Iraq.
Haslip’s friends and family remembered him as a warm person who always had a hug for his mother and a smile for his friends.
Eddie Ivester, a Vietnam veteran whose parents are buried at the cemetery, also attended the service without knowing Haslip.
“I just wanted to say thank you, ” he said.
He also is survived by his mother and stepfather, Lana and Denis McDonald.