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ORION SPARKS
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January 12, 2013
I met SSG. Orion Sparks when he was, PVT. Sparks, stationed in Baumholder, Germany. He was a member of the 1-35 AR, HHC Scout Platoon. When I first met him, he was this big tall guy, who towered over most of the other soldiers. When the Scouts introduced him to me, I could tell that he would be a great soldier. He had a watchful eye and was very gifted at listening to what was being said. Later, he became a good friend along with the rest of Scout platoon.
I nicked named him Bubba Sparks because there was a rap artist who used the same name but I had thought it fit Orion much better. I called him Bubba because he had a country demeanor. He said “Yes sir, No sir, Yes mam, No mam.” My parents raised me to say the same things. So instantly, I had respect for this very young man who was wearing a soldiers uniform.
Everyone he talked to seemed to always be at ease. He also had a way of making you feel, that when he was listening to you, you had his full and complete attention. I think that's why people liked him so much. He was genuinely interested in what you had to say. He also had a way of making people realize that things aren't as bad as they seem. He had a very clear mind and a great sense of humor.
I also had the honor of seeing first hand Bubba standing up for what he believed. I was able to watch him stand up for the little guy. Unfortunately for Sparks, that was most of the people around him. He loved his family, he loved his platoon, he loved his brothers at arms and he loved America.
That was the soldier that I knew.
Once the uniform came off and the civilian clothes were put on, he was Orion Sparks. A happy go lucky kid who loved to go snowboarding and everything else that packed an adrenaline punch. After I got back from Iraq back in 2004, I stayed in Baumholder and worked at the pool and the Education Center. While at the pool I had the chance to work with the MWR Outdoor Recreation Center. Bubba was a no stranger to them. I had the wonderful opportunity to drive him and other soldiers to go snowboarding in Austria and Switzerland. That was where I could see the cheesiest smile on his face. Like a kid that just got a new bike for Christmas. When he saw those ski slopes, his face would light up with a huge smile that would make his eyes almost disappear into a wrinkle. Then he would put his arm around a friend and say “Yeah Man, that's what I'm talking about.” while he pointed at the mountains. I was glad to be that friend.
Orion, I am glad that I got to know you. I am honored to have served with you. You will be remembered not as some unknown soldier in a far off place but as my friend and you will live in my memory forever. Thank you for your service and thank you for being a friend.
May in death you find the endless powdery trail to snowboard into eternity. Rest In Peace My Friend.

To the Sparks family, please know that you raised a wonderful young man that you could be very proud of. He served his country honorably and was a great friend to whoever he met. I know nothing in this world can be said to bring him back but I hope that maybe something I or somebody else has said will bring you some kind of comfort to know that your boy was a man of courage, honor, and respect. Bless you, my prayers go out to all of you.

SGT Scott Burton HHC 1-35AR 2001-2004
December 02, 2012
RIP Brother.. Scouts Out...
November 11, 2012
You will be missed brother sparks. Let his guiding hand take yours and walk with him to the promise land. Watch over us and guide us through the valley of the shadow of death.
November 02, 2012
Prayer Shawls 4 Fallen Soldiers (ps4fs@charter.net) is an organization with groups throughout the country who work to send handmade prayer shawls and/or lap robes to families who have lost a loved one while serving our country. Members of Trindle Spring Lutheran Church would like to honor your loved one's sacrifice and memory by sending our prayers and comfort through a prayer gift which will be mailed to you. If you are interested, please contact me at gramman@comcast.net with the names and addresses of those who would like to receive one and which gift they would like to receive. We will send our gift as soon as possible. Also, if you know of any other families who are grieving the loss of a loved on who died while serving our country, please pass along my e-mail address. May God bless you and comfort you in the days ahead. Sincerely, Lynne
October 14, 2012
Our Prayers and thoughts are with you. As Gold Star Parents we understand the pain you are going through. CWO(R) Skip and Carrie.
October 13, 2012
Orion - your family and friends put on a great send off and celebration of life today. Mike Wise and Erik Giovanetti even flew out from training at Ft Bragg to pay final respects. There were tears but there were also smiles and laughter. Your troops downrange and the families and soldiers left behind in Germany sent their support too. You even had a General Officer speak of your accomplishments. Rest in Peace SSG Sparks. Your legacy will continue in the successes of your soldiers and family. Hooah!
October 13, 2012
RIP Orion. We will miss you. God bless you for the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our country. Much love and many memories to all the family and friends of yours will live on in hearts forever.
October 13, 2012
I just want to say Thank you for being a great man, for being a Hero to our family, friends and to our country. Your brothers look up to and will continue to do so, I assure you your nephew will always know you as a Hero. I wish I would have known you better, I wish you were still here in body and not just in spirit. I love you Orion. You will always hold a place in my heart.
October 13, 2012
RIP
October 12, 2012
SSG Sparks - you left an indelible mark upon the lives you touched in your short lifetime. I never met you, but I do know some of those who were positively influenced due to your caring and uplifting presence. A soldier never dies, just fades away. But memories of you will not fade away. They will live on in those who knew you best.
October 12, 2012
Rest in peace the valiant soldier.
October 12, 2012
Thank you for your service, rest in peace.
October 12, 2012
Thank you for your service and for keeping our Country free
October 11, 2012
RIP Orion. Thank you for your service. We are heartbroken by your loss, but oh so proud of the Hero you are.
October 09, 2012
God Bless you Staff SGT ORION N. Sparks, for you shall always be remembered for your Courage, Loyalty, Strengths, Beliefs and Choices you made to serve your Country and Protect our Freedom, keeping all so very safe. Paying the Ultimate the Ultimate Sacrifice. Your Legacy shall never be forgotten, may your soul now rest in Eternal peace.
My Prayers and Heartfelt Condolences to the Family of Staff Sgt. Orion N. Sparks.
Although a light has gone out in your world, the spirit of your loved one will live forever in your memories and hearts.
Wishing you strength now and in the many tomorrows yet to come. May it comfort you to know that your Dear Son is Safely in God's arms, but, you shall always have him in your hearts.
God Bless
October 09, 2012
I am truely sorry for the loss of your Hero Orion. Cherish his memories and celebrate his life.Know that Orion is at rest as there is peace in heaven. May God bless and comfort you during your time of need.
October 09, 2012
To the Sparks Family: Please accept my
deepest sympathy for the loss of your
loved one and hero Orion, and my
sincerest gratitude for his service
for our country.
God Bless you Staff Sgt. Orion N. Sparks...you will not be forgotten.
October 07, 2012
I know there are no words to say at this time, except how sorry that I am. My thoughts and prayers are with you always. Orion will never be forgotten.

For you every single soldier
Those who served so honorable
Your life was forever altered
While I'm home safe and free
I stand with grateful admiration
I stand respectful and so proud
I know I'm only a civilian
And I don't even know if it's allowed

But I salute you; allow me the honor
to salute you with permission let me say
Even though I hold no rank know that from my heart
My humble gratitude comes from the deepest part.
I salute you.

For those missing in action;
for those who didn't make it home.
I know you're in God's presence you are not alone.
For every neatly folded flag;
for every shattered family
I will do the only thing I know to dignify your memory.

I salute you, allow me the honor
to salute you with permission let me say
even though I hold no rank know that from my heart
my humble gratitude comes from the deepest part.

I salute you .

I Salute You.

Suzanne MacDaniel - A Proud Aunt
Colonie, NY
SGT. David M. Fisher
KIA 12/1/04 - Iraq
October 04, 2012
SSG Sparks,

Over the past week I have watched the responses to news of your final military action. The love and admiration of your fellow soldiers, their family members, your family and friends is a strong testimony of who you are, a genuine person, a skilled professional soldier, a true friend. You blessed many as you walked this earth. Job well done by a humble and faithful servant. May your family and friends find peace and warmth in the company of each other as they recount the good memories they have of you.
October 04, 2012
orion... you were the last person i would have thought of entering the military, but you did and i am truely amazed at how far you went. you traveled the world and touched the lives of many. you were a true hero. i am fortunate to have introduced my son to you so i can tell him its because of men and women like you, true heros, that he can live his life in the safety of our home. my heart is heavy with the news of your loss and my prayers are with you and your family. a day wont go by without me thinking of you. you will be missed so much.
October 04, 2012
I have known orion sparks the majority of mine and his life I was a school mate of his from kindergarten till he left to live with his dad, I have tried to stayin touch with him after he left and when he joined the army I was proud of him, I had joined the Marine Corps in 2001 and we still stayed in contact with each other and when he went to afghanistan I prayed for him every day and his safe return. I just got a call this morning from my mom who still lives back in our home town and she told me of the tragic news. I am still having a hard time believing that he is gone and that I will not get to talk with him any more and that I wont get to see him again. it is hard to take it in and I am sorry that his mom and dad have had to go through this. my condolences to his family and my prayers that they will eventually recover from this loss, i don't know how or if i can recover from loosing a friend but i will pray for him and for everyone that feels this pain.

Sgt Carlisle, Gavin B.
USMC
You can only live once,
so make it count.
October 03, 2012
Rest in peace Orion.
October 03, 2012
I as well as many others will miss you a lot. I'm grateful for the many conversations we had. Your insight was helpful to me. I wish more than anything that you were here and able to hang out. I wish and pray that your are on to a higher calling. I wish the best to your family and that they know your were an awesome friend. You will always be in my thoughts.
October 03, 2012
The Final Salute

“Brothers in Arms”, Military men and women down through the centuries, have traditionally exchanged “Hand Salutes” as a sign of recognition and as a way to render courtesy and respect one to another.

This “Hand Salute” is the last that we shall render to our Brother-in-Arms, SSG Orion N. Sparks, U.S. Army. To his family it symbolizes the love and respect that we have for Orion. And to Orion it is rendered as a symbol of honor and gratitude to thank him for the ultimate sacrifice he made for his country while opposing enemy forces in Afghanistan. Orion you gave the last full measure of devotion for what you believed in and fought for. No greater love and patriotism are shown than when a man lays down his life in service to his country. Orion, you are a brave American Warrior, a true Patriot and a national Hero. With your passing, our Country has lost a National Treasure. We bid you a sad farewell. You will be dearly missed from among our ranks. Be at ease. Rest in Peace.

On behalf of the 1,261 members of Lowe-McFarlane Post 14 of the American Legion in Shreveport, Louisiana, I extend our sympathies and our condolences to Orion's family and loved ones.

Stephen J. Lavery, Commander, American Legion Post 14
5315 S. Lakeshore Drive, Shreveport, LA 71109
October 02, 2012
To the family of Staff Sgt. Orion N. Sparks --May you receive the love of God and hold Him close to you now. Glory to Staff Sgt. Orion N. Sparks for his life for our country.
September 30, 2012
I serve with sparky. I was in his squad in Iraq 03-04. Tall guy big heart, the irony is that his heart was taller then him. I get the privilege to type this little note in the comfort and safety of my home with the ac just right with smooth jazz in the background because of heroes like him. Thank you sparky you made life a little sweeter for me. Godspeed
September 30, 2012
You are so loved Orion. Kris and I are forever changed for the better having known you. As I told you, you are apart of our family, and we love you. We will see you again. You were never alone. Kris stayed right by your side on your way to BAF. And right beside Jonathan as well. He gave you both a kiss goodbye. I miss you so much. But you are never far away because you are here in my heart. I love you Orion. I'll be seeing you.
September 30, 2012
Orion,
I went to go check on everyone today, Housby was sound asleep so I let him be. I will go and see him in the morning. I talked to Shag and had midnight chow with him, it was good to sit and talk to him. Lacey went and saw Bennet and Baulding the other day and will go again, she had a really good talk with Baulding. Lacey is taking this pretty hard, you are very important to her and she and i love you very much. I am going to speek at your memorial service, it will be Thursday. We found some T10D's for decoration, it will be pretty awsome event, and it is all for you and Nate. I have been writing down stuff to say and been practicing so it will be perfect you guys. well brother, you were more than a friend to Lacey and me, you were apart of our family. I will talk to you soon, I know you can hear, maybee one day I will shut up enough to hear you back. We miss you and most of all we love you. Next time we meet we will all be in a better place and our reunion will be the most grand of all. We love you.
September 30, 2012
RIP, Brother....God bless the Sparks family.
September 29, 2012
I love you, Orion
September 29, 2012
God Bless Staff SGT. Orion N. Sparks. This Hero has
made the ultimate sacrifice.
Our family is forever grateful for his service in order to keep us safe. May God wrap His loving arms around him, his family
and friends and hold you close throughout time. Rest in Peace Brother.
September 29, 2012
It is with great sorrow that I have learned of the passing of Staff Sgt. Orion Sparks. I will forever be grateful for his dedicated service to our country. May God Bless Orion, his family and military unit. My deepest sympathy to you all.
September 29, 2012
It's been way too long since I saw Sparky, he was in my dad's platoon while he was stationed in Baumholder. But he was always one of my favorite soldiers. He was easily one of the nicest people I've ever met. He would play with me and my brothers whenever we asked. I remember sitting on his shoulders when I was about six, and I couldn't get over how high in the air I was. I always loved Orion, he was like an uncle to me. I wish I would have spoken to him more, but I truly believe he knew how much the entire 1-35 family loved and cared for him. That family lost another one of our own, but trust that he will never be forgotten.
September 29, 2012
I pray that your family will be comforted by knowing that I and my family are grateful for Orion having served his country. May God bless you with His peace.
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