20 Feb 2007:
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 196-07
February 20, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Pfc. Justin T. Paton, 24, of Alanson, Mich., died Feb. 17 in Taramia, Iraq, when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire. Paton was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
Alanson man dies in combat in Iraq
By MIKE FORNES
U.S. Army Pfc. Justin T. Paton, 24, of Alanson, Mich., died on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007, when his patrol came under fire 40 miles north of Baghdad, his family confirmed on Monday, Feb. 19, 2007.
Tribune Staff Writer
ALANSON - A 2000 graduate of Inland Lakes High School was killed Saturday in Iraq.
The family of Army Pfc. Justin T. Paton of Alanson received notification Monday that he died when his patrol came under fire 40 miles north of Baghdad.
“We know that he is back in the States now, he's in Dover, Del.,” said Paton's sister, Stormy Dickinson. “We can't make any kind of arrangements for his funeral until we get a date when he can come home.”
Dickinson said her brother was a member of the 1st Cavalry Division, Delta Company and had recently been named the unit's leader. He was deployed to Iraq on Oct. 31, 2006. He had worked as a rehabilitation technician at Northern Michigan Hospital before joining the Army in 2005.
Family members said that Paton was born on July 4, 1982, and always thought that the fireworks were for his birthday.
“They will be from now on,” all agreed.
Paton's high school football coach remembered him Monday as “a bright young man and a fantastic kid - the kind of kid you hope your own son grows up to be.”
Inland Lakes Principal Don Killingbeck also recalled a visit he received from Paton, 24, last fall just before he went overseas.
“He stopped in the school last fall,” Killingbeck said. “He had acquired a real physical presence with all his weight-lifting since I had last seen him, he looked like a pro football player. I gave him an Inland Lakes t-shirt to wear over there.”
Killingbeck said he had also taught Paton in a driver's education class.
“Indian River has lost a good son and a bright leader, someone who would have come back and had the ability to serve the community and be productive,” Killingbeck stated.
The son of Donald and Shelley Paton of Alanson, Justin is also survived by a sister, Stormy Dickinson, a brother Alan Parkey and numerous other family members.
04 Jan 2007
My guys are an infantry platoon with 1st Cavalry Division from Ft.Hood, TX. We were deployed here just this last October and since then have seen quite a bit of action and not much rest. Mail always raises the spirits of my guys, but not much flows through. I was hoping to increase care mail for my platoon to heighten the morale of these joes. We live in trailers that are air conditioned and have electricity. Many guys enjoy books and movies, while others thrive on munchie food while on a mission or patrol. In all actuality, anything makes these boys happy, even just a small note from a child. Heck, you could probably send a sheet of paper with a smiley face on it and my guys would laugh the rest of the day! Thank you so much for considering this and we can't wait to get back home.