LAURA MARGARET WALKER
1LT, CORPS OF ENGINEERS
UNITED STATES ARMY
Laura Margaret Walker was born on June 16, 1981. Her education included ten different schools, living in 18 different cities and three countries, culminating with her graduation in 1999 from SHAPE American High School in Belgium. Laura attended the United States Military Academy at West Point where she was elected class secretary for the class of 2003 and served as team captain of the West Point Women's Handball Team, leading them to a national collegiate championship. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and Systems Engineering on May 31, 2003 and was commissioned a 2LT in the Corps of Engineers.
2LT Walker arrived at Fort Lewis in January of 2004, was assigned to the 555th Engineer Brigade, and deployed to Iraq in support of the 4th Infantry Division until April 2004. Laura was reassigned as a vertical construction platoon leader in the 864th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy) upon returning to Fort Lewis. She re-deployed with 1st Platoon,
Bravo Company, 864th ECB (H) to Afghanistan in March of 2005.
Laura was killed in action on 18 August 2005 in Delak, Afghanistan. She proudly wore the 4th Infantry Division combat patch on her right shoulder, a distinction she shared with both of her grandfathers from their service with the Division in both World War II and Vietnam. Her awards and decorations include: the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal (1OLC), Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge, and Air Assault Badge.
Laura was an exemplary officer and loved West Point and the soldiers she led, yet these were but a part of her huge capacity for life. She was a strong person, spiritually, physically and mentally. These qualities inspired others to "play up" in all areas. Laura valued family and friends, and fostered a sense of community wherever she found herself. Loyalty -- Laura was all about loyalty and traditions. She loved music and had a gifted voice. She was an accomplished and prolific writer. She treasured time spent with her sister and brothers. She loved learning to cook with her mother, and shared her skill with others. She enjoyed talking to her father on long, slow runs. She was a certified aerobics and yoga instructor and an avid soccer player. She shared a deep love for all the holidays, especially Christmas with her family. Passion -- Laura was all about passion and dedication. She and Ed Peskie were to be engaged this summer after three years together. She loved God and was growing in Christ daily. 1LT Laura Walker was a good friend and inspiration to all who knew her; we miss her terribly. Laura is survived by her mother, Valerie Walker, her father, COL Keith Walker, her sister, Audrey, and her brothers, Duncan and Brian Walker. Sorrow knows no bounds for Ed, the family, and the countless lives she touched. We ask that just as we all benefited from the goodness of her life, let there be continued goodness long past this transient painful visitation by death. Continue to hold her in your hearts and minds, and honor her by living life to its fullest.
The road upon which Laura died will soon have its opening dedication. You can read Laura's article, "The Route to Democracy" at http://ezinearticles.com/?id=54419
Eulogies may be read and posted at: https://secure.west-point.org/laurawalker/classgift/
The Washington Post regrets that a production error prevented the running
of the death notice for 1st Lt. Laura Walker in the Sunday, September 11 paper.
Laura's mother, Valerie Walker, highlights, "what holds meaning is the date of 9/11. Laura did not die on a humanitarian mission in Afghanistan; though she was dedicated to improving the quality of life of all. She died fighting those who would do us harm. She died for us. For all of us." it,0