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07/21/2010

Comments

Shadism18

For the sake of accuracy, I just wanted to point out that PFC Restrepo completed basic training at Fort Sill, O.K. We were in 2nd Plt. Bravo Battery 1/79. He was one of the first men that I met in my Army career. He was Platoon Guide for nearly the whole 9 week cycle. Right away, he was one of few other soldiers, that everyone could look up to. Not just because he was a PT stud, or that he was one of the most squared away soldier's in our platoon. He had a natural-born leaders' character, without being too rigid, or too involved to "stop and smell the roses." He was also very humble, and never passed by someone who needed his help. I remember many times when he would put on hold whatever he was doing, to double check your uniform in the morning while we were all still groggy-eyed, or do some extra PT and motivate you to do better, or just talk about whatever was on your mind, usually thoughts about back home, and how great it's gonna be when we finally graduate. I say all this because I didn't know him for very long at all, but he made a very strong impact on me, and although I can't speak for others, I believe that he made the difference between success and failure for several of us. All that in only 9 short weeks should tell you a great deal about someone. At least it does to me. After we graduated, he and I continued on to AIT at Fort Sam Houston, T.X., along with many others from our BCT battery. Restrepo continued to help fellow soldiers who were struggling with the EMT portion of our course, even to the point of (unfortunately, I believe) sabotaging his own ability to pass the NREMT final exam after six weeks of arduous studying, and repetitious practical exercises. He often attended the extracurricular study hall to assist other soldiers who were having difficulty. I never saw him again after the test. I still regret not being able to walk across that stage with him. I believe he made honor graduate in his next cycle, but I can't verify it. Almost a solid year had gone by since I had been at my first duty station, Fort Wainwright, A.K. when a battle buddy who Restrepo and I had also gone through BCT with, PFC Richard Allen, told me that he had been shot and killed in an ambush while on deployment to Afghanistan. I couldn't believe it. I'm not going to go through all the thoughts and feelings I had after that. Suffice to say, when I heard of his death, it eventually proved to serve as a reminder to me that as human beings, we inevitably, fail. But how we carry on, and persevere, is what defines us as individuals, soldiers, men, women, and people. Restrepo was there for his battle buddies, his team, and his friends. As a fellow soldier, and combat medic, I can think of nothing more respectable, nor honorable, than to fight, live, and die with, and for, those whom you have sworn to preserve, protect, and serve. My name is SPC Alexander J. Costea. My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Juan Sebastian Restrepo. Gone, sincerely missed, but never forgotten.

LongIslandgirl

Thank you SPC Costea for taking the time to share, and for your service.

Jason Anderson

I'll second that PFC Restrepo trained at Ft. Sill with us. I was in 4th Platoon "Aw nah, hell nah Rough Riders up an'...." well those who were there will remember.

I was PV2 Jason Anderson - I struggled through most of BCT with a broken heel bone and PFC Restrepo was always there to lend an ear and offer support. He would never cease to have an upbeat attitude and put a smile on your face.

PFC Restrepo sat with myself and my family at graduation - he graduated with honors and the second highest PT scores in our class at Ft. Sill. My mother remembers him fondly and was brought to tears when we found out about his death.

A great man, a great soldier, a great medic - he did everything in his power to put the needs of others before his. I was with him throughout all of AIT (in both of his cycles) and he excelled at 232 B in his second cycle. Our cadre had nothing but good things to say about him.

He loved his tooth brush, he loved soccer, he loved life - and he lived as an honorable man.

He will be missed by me, by everyone that knew him. I hope his family has found closure in trying times.

Rest in peace Restrepo - hope they have a special tooth brush for you up there.

Jason Anderson

Correction, PFC Restrepo started at 232B at Ft. Sam Houston and graduated with 232C.

I happened to be on base throughout both phases and got to know the cadre around the entire base due to circumstances surrounding my injuries.

Everyone respected and looked up to him - being held back did nothing but make him a better role model for new soldiers coming in from BCT. His dedicated and determination to help others did not falter after failing his first EMT-B test at 232B - he remained the same helpful man at 232C and managed to pass with flying colors.

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