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Chad Gunter

Chad Gunter

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July 22, 2018
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July 22, 2018
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August 01, 2016
I'm running around California and I can't help but to remember your stories and the love you had for this place like many places (not forgetting Hawaii when you were young) I can see why. I catch myself remembering a lot of things we did and comparing them similarities to current experiences and I just miss you. I wish I could remember Benjermins last name is look for him, was another great friend of ours growing up. Gotta go for now but I want you to know your not forgotten my friend. Miss those summers riding bike all around Anchorage.

Respectfully
Bruce Anthony
April 06, 2014
Bless you my son. Rest in peace and know that you are loved and will always be remembered.........I miss you.........Love Mom
May 26, 2013
I knew your son in kindergarten and we grew very close. He let me help him and I got past his hard shell. Cole is a very sweet boy on the inside and I want to reconnect very soon, you are missed dearly.
April 08, 2013
God be with you my son. You were an honorable man and dearly loved. I miss you.
Love Mom
April 04, 2012
God Bless you my son. I think of you each and every day. You are dearly loved and I miss you.
June 04, 2011
this is for my friend Connor on his graduation day. he misses his dad allot I can always see it in his eyes. I know that his dad would be proud of him.
January 01, 2011
May your spirit soar like an eagle. May you be at peace.
December 31, 2010
December 31, 2010
I first met Chad in early 1990 at Ft Campbell, KY in the receiving platoon for new assignees. We were both assigned to 101st Airborne Division and awaited orders for our brigade assignments. Soldiers from all walks of training graced the reception areas (to be clear, this was a multi-day process with barracks, formations, equipment issues, and a lot of waiting around). Chad was an 18-yr old fresh recruit from basic training and airborne school. I was an E-4, former drill corporal/OCS (officer candidate school) candidate. I had pulled my acceptance to OCS to follow my dreams of becoming...well, it’s in the story below.

Since we both were trained infantry, we understood and behaved with a certain level of discipline not demonstrated by other new assignees. That’s probably why we struck up a conversation after our first roll-call formation. We became, I would say, acquaintances. Later, we both learned that we were assigned to the 2nd Battalion 187th "Rakkasans," 3rd Brigade. For reasons clarified below, neither of us wanted to be assigned to a line company (regular units of fighting men). Chad was assigned to battalion S-2 (intelligence), and I was assigned to S-4 (supply). Whew, we dodged the line-company bullet.

Work in S-2 and S-4 was (for a private, Chad; and specialist, me) boring. I dreamed of becoming an underwater welder and my application process was in the works. Chad wanted to be in the Battalion Scouts--the elite group in the Battalion. It was Chad who informed me that the battalion had a half-sized platoon of scouts. Long-story-short, I took a swim test for my underwater welding application conducted by the scout’s platoon sergeant and was soon offered a job. Oh yeah, and my underwater application--somehow it got lost in the bureaucratic shuffle.

Life in the scouts was exciting, at least more so than battalion HQ work because we were given a level of independence that line soldiers did not enjoy. For me, that was key, independence—the freedom to think and make decisions. We were three small teams (5 men each). Each man had to know each others’ jobs and had to possess leadership skills to lead the team. I really credit Chad for getting me on this team because he was the one who told me about it, he was the one that fixed it as a goal in my head.

Meanwhile, Chad lived the S-2 life: field operations in a tent. As a scout, I got to go out and--well scout, do reconnaissance work in the field. I remember talking to Chad about S-2. He recounted an episode where the lieutenant was looking for the enemy (this was a training exercise). The LT had before him a large marker-board map with question marks about where the enemy could be. So, he sent out an order for the scouts to search a certain area and dually noted on the map were the scout teams were to be positioned. Soon after reports came back that the scout teams were hit with enemy all around. The LT, happy with himself that he had found the enemy, erased the scout teams from the board, and replaced them with the large letters "ENEMY."

Chad gleeful retold this story to me and emphasized how happy the LT was when he had erased us off the board. It brought to mind how dispensable we were. At the same time he relayed how desperate he was to get out of S-2 and into the scouts. As consequences would have it, an opening came up on a scout team. I put a buzz in the platoon sergeant’s ear about a certain private in S-2, who "knows everything about the scouts," and "is totally squared-away" (in civilian parlance that would be "he’s really cool, man"). There were several applicants to the scouts. A test ensued. I have to admit I was worried for Chad. At the time, I weighted 165lb and was totally fit. Chad weighed, let’s say a buck 25, and was totally fit. Still, Chad got the job. The platoon sergeant said that there was really no competition, Chad easily outshined them all.

Chad’s and my friendship quickly grew during our time in Battalion HQ and now in the Scouts. I knew about Chad’s son Chris. I heard stories about his high school days. In my eyes, his level of maturity was somehow over and above his fellow high-schoolers; above his fellow soldiers; and even above me. I was a college grad with a degree in theoretical math. That’s right. I enlisted after I got the degree. Chad’s life had focus and purpose, whereas my own was accentuated with certain achievements (like graduating college) yet meandering, unfocused, and confused. Chad confided in me about his worries about his son. How he wanted to raise his son. How he wanted to be as a person. In many ways, Chad was my mentor. He helped me connect the dots in my own life and used his own to illustrate the path.

While we were in the Scouts, some idiot named Hussein invaded an oil-rich neighbor, and oh well, you know most of the rest. We went to war. Chad (aka "Gunner") was the grenadier for his team. I was the RTO or radio operator for mine. While serving in the gulf that story about erasing the scout teams from the board became an ongoing joke between us. Image if you would a grinning Chad, motioning an erasing jester with his hand, and making a squeaking sound between his teeth, saying something like: "That’s us man, just a mark on board waiting to make some LT happy to erase us off."

Before the war, Chad married in a small church in Tennessee. I was his best man. I knew Chad for two years in the service. Years later in August 1996, I visited him and his family in Anchorage Alaska. I remember the trip well. I met Connor, then the youngest member of the family, and Chris. Seeing Chris was like looking back in time at Chad.

Today is Dec 31, 2010. And I happened to be thinking of Chad because I regularly think of people who influenced me in my life. I wanted to reconnect with him. I’ve attempted before in the past with no luck. This time I tried Facebook and put his name in the search engine. A link to his obituary came up. I had to read it just to be sure it wasn’t him. It was. I read the posts from family, friends, and even strangers. And from these posts my memories of him became even stronger. I see that that his charm, sense of humor, and leadership had only grown in the years since I knew him.

I remembered a purposeful young man in a camouflage uniform with the world in front of him and him walking steadily toward it. This man helped me get to where I am today. I cannot image a world without him.

Chad, you are dearly missed.
September 20, 2010
Miss you buddy!

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Chad Gunter 4 years old

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