David A Mejias

David A Mejias

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U.S. Army
BAGHDAD, IRAQ 04/01/2007

Tribute to a Fallen Comrade Military Police, Fall, 2007 by Anthony Cruz

Soldiers join the Army for many reasons. David A. Mejías’ reason was simple—he had to do something. He had to do something after watching our nation being attacked by terrorists. He had to do something about the loss of innocent lives. He just had to do something. That’s why 48 hours after the September 11th attacks, just a couple of weeks after his 21st birthday, David Mejías joined the Army.

A few months later (in December 2001), while I was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division in Germany, I received a phone call from David. “Guess where I am?” he began. To this, I replied that I had no clue. “I am at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, just starting field artillery advanced individual training.”

David’s announcement was unexpected, but it should not have been. After all, his parents had both served in the Army. In fact, they were stationed in Germany in the early 1980s, when David was born. David was destined to become a Soldier. It was his calling.  In February 2002, David was assigned to the 1st ID as a forward observer in a field artillery battalion in Bamberg. Although we served together in the unit for only six months, the time that we shared was priceless.

While assigned to the “Big Red One,” David, who was then a staff sergeant, was deployed to Kosovo and Iraq. But for David, being a Field Artillery Soldier was not very exciting. It was during his deployment to Iraq that he began considering leaving the Army. However, he knew that I was a Military Police Soldier, and that piqued his interest.

“Talk to me about being an MP,” he implored. I described the branch and told him that if he decided to reclassify, he would surely be deployed to Iraq again. But deploying to Iraq was the least of David’s worries. He did not mind that.

About that time, David fell in love with Specialist Caromi Rodriguez, a supply specialist assigned to the 630th Military Police Company, Bamberg. They were a match made in heaven. Following in the footsteps of his parents, David married the love of his life while on leave in Denmark.  In 2005, David reenlisted, requested a reclassification to the Military Police Corps Regiment, and was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York. In April 2006, Caromi gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Leila Mejías-Rodriguez. David missed her birth, as he was at the National Training Center preparing for another deployment to Iraq.

In August 2006, David deployed to Iraq for the second time. As a squad leader assigned to the Military Police Platoon, 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2d Brigade Combat Team, David excelled as a natural leader and was emulated by his peers and subordinates.

On 1 April 2007, Staff Sergeant David A. Mejías made the ultimate sacrifice when his life and the lives of three of his fellow squad members were violently taken by an improvised explosive device. He was only 26. 

I had the honor of escorting David on his final journey home to Puerto Rico, where he was laid to rest at the National Cemetery. David loved the Army and all it stands for. He also loved Soldiers and leading them into battle. He knew exactly what he was doing and why he was doing it. And he wouldn’t have had it any other way. Staff Sergeant David Mejías was a great Soldier and a great American. But above all, he was my beloved nephew and my hero.

David’s portrait is also located on Poster 2


7 Responses to “David A Mejias”
  1. Trevor Meier says:

    I met David Mejias when he was only 19 years old in Bamber, Germany. I was his first section chief when he was first a 13B, Artilleryman, part of the Big Red 1. He was like a son to me in that regard. I watched him grow up and become a man right in front of me. He was a stellar Soldier and a very good person. I spoke with him via email just days before April 2007. I was getting ready to deploy again to Iraq. This time he and I would be able to meet up because his MP unit was operating out of Baghdad, I would be there too. I was in the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport about to board my plane when a close mutual friend called me and told me he was killed in an IED attack, it was lat 1 April 2007. My heart sank, down to the bottom of my boots. He was a natural born leader with a true and honest heart. God speed to his family, know he is still missed by his brothers in arms.

  2. Loraine says:

    My dear friend. I remember you with so much love and appreciation. We met in Bambergeneral and we were both so young and full of dreams

    You were so funny. You always put a,smile on my face when I was down… I still can’t believe you are gone.

  3. William Arganda says:

    Every year on my birthday I re-live this day…RIP brother and FRIEND!!!

    I was in country with David and I met him during battle drills as our EOD teams were preparing to take over operations in Iraq. He was part of our security teams. We became instant friends, I always see his big smile. I saw him late Mar 2007 at an IED post blast site, He showed up and in the darkness I heard, “Master Sgt!” I turned around and there was that big smile. I remember giving him a quick hug as we exchanged a few words, then back to work at the site. We went our separate ways that night completing our missions. 1 Apr is my birthday so every year I think of that night and I see his smile. I knew him for a short time but he is and will always be with me!!! I will NEVER FORGET!

  4. Raymond C Rogers says:

    We can forget men like David Mejia and Eric Lill. I remember David from Bamberg, Germany with 1/6. It was during his specialist days before and during Iraq. He was with HQ battery, but he would go out on patrols with the line units.

    My fondest memory with David was a trip we randomly took to London. My bag got shredded in one of the conveyor belts and it tore all my clothes in one inch wide strips. David howled with laughter, but he lent me clothes for the trip. Same night we went to the hotel room and about 3AM (in a room with two queens) he wakes me up and says there is a naked dude sitting at the foot of my bed. Im thinking he is messing with me and told him to shut up. After the third time, I realize he was not joking. I look at the foot of the bed and a drunk college kid was in his boxers sitting there just looking at us with a confused look in his face. The NCO in me barked “who the f%#/ are you, get the f/^& out of my room”. This kid did a cartoon scramble, managing to pick up his clothes, and run down the hallway as I chased him out

    Now after enjoying my clothes being shredded, David laughed hard. After this happened he was laughing uncontrollably for a good ten to fifteen minutes. Then he’d stop, and burst out laughing again. We saw that kid with his college buddies, and he sheepishly walked by embarrassed. We figured out that they were all drinking, and their room was close to ours. Our door did not properly close, and he was probably drunk, got undressed, and then was confused as to why people were already sleeping in what he thought was his bed. It was a good trip.

    David was a good-hearted down to earth jovial guy. He was almost always upbeat, had a good sense of humor. In the barracks, he’d see you and sing “I’m still Jenny from the block”, but replace “Jenny” with whoever it was he saw. He was good people, as the expression was at that time.

    These men need to be remembered as the people they were, not merely part of a larger statistic. David was a good man.

  5. COL(Ret) Anthony Cruz says:

    MSgt(Ret)Arganda/Mr. JC Rogers,

    Thank you for sharing David’s anecdotes. I am the one who wrote the Article above 10 yrs ago. I retired from the Army last year after serving over 30 yrs on Active Duty. David’s sense of Service and Sacrifice served as my inspiration–mainly during my deployment to Iraq in 2009-10. When I took him home from Dover AFB on his final journey to Puerto Rico, I told our family that David died doing what he loved doing–Serving our Country. I will always remember where I was when I found out David’s life was cut short. God Bless him and all those who left us while Serving our Nation.

    Tio (Uncle) Tony

  6. Lory says:

    Mi amigo!!!! Siempre the llevo en pensamiento. Siempre te recordare!

  7. Rebecca Fisher says:

    Today my husband, some friends and I went to Arlington National Cemetary. We were asked to honor you as we had your name draped around one of necks with a yellow ribbon. Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice. To your family and friends David has not been forgotten.

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