Spc. William |
Spc. William David "Dave" Dusenbery, 30, born Dec. 25, 1972, in Portsmouth, Va., died Nov. 15, 2003, in Mosul, Iraq, in a helicopter collision.
Spc. Dusenbery was 29 when he joined the Army in Dec. 2001. After basic training at Fort Knox, Tenn., he went to advanced training in helicopter maintenance at Fort Eustis, Va., where he trained as a mechanic on the Black Hawk helicopter's engine and propulsion system. Dave had been too old to enroll in flight school at the time of his enlistment. His dream was to fly the Black Hawks. But he said, "If I can't fly 'em, I can fix 'em." He was a proud member of the 101st Airborne division stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky. He deployed to Iraq on Feb. 27, 2003.
Dave loved what he was doing in the Army, and the Army esteemed him, advancing him with promotions as quickly as they could. He was known as "Deuce" to his Army buddies. He always had a camera in his pocket and chronicled his buddies' and his own life in the Army, particularly recording vivid images of their lives in Iraq. When day's work was done, Dave and his buddies would gather at his tent on the front porch he had made from scavenged materials, and Dave would pull out his guitar, and everyone would sing. With the help of his family, who sent packages of decorations for all the holidays celebrated during the year, Dave would decorate his tent. Halloween was particularly memorable. His friends thanked him for "bringing a bit of normalcy to the craziness" in Iraq. Dave died flying in his beloved Black Hawk helicopter on the way from Baghdad to Mosul.
Mr. Dusenbery was preceded in death by his paternal grandmother, Dr. Mariam Cain Dusenbery; and his maternal grandfather, Frank W. Medcalf.
Surviving are his father, William D. (Nancy Kaprelian) Dusenbery of Fairview Heights, Ill.; his mother, Nancy Medcalf of Sacramento, Calif.; a brother, Joseph M. Dusenbery of Sacramento, Calif.; his fiancee, Jessica Wheat of Fairview Heights, Ill.; his paternal grandfather, William P. (Marlys) Dusenbery of West Chester, Iowa; his maternal grandmother, Mildred Medcalf of Vallejo, Calif.; two daughters, 7-year-old Aubrey Dusenbery and 11-year-old Shalice Johnson, and his wife, all of Arcata, Calif.; uncles, Michael (Janis) Dusenbery of San Diego, Calif., Robert (Rhonda) Dusenbery of Altus, Okla., Joseph (Carlotta) Medcalf of Phoenix, Ariz.; great-uncles, great-aunts, cousins and many friends who loved him.
Letters of condolence may be mailed to the family in care of Kassly Mortuary Ltd., 9900 St. Clair Ave., Fairview Heights, Ill. 62208.
Visitation: There will be no visitation.
Funeral: Graveside services with full military honors will be officiated by the Rev. Anthony Bittolder at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, 2003, at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo.
KASSLY MORTUARY, Fairview Heights, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat from Dec. 2 to Dec. 3, 2003