October 5, 2010

Sgt. 1st Class Lance H. Vogeler

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sgt. 1st Class Lance H. Vogeler, 29, of Frederick, Md., died Oct.1 in Bastion, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered in Helmand, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit with indirect fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

For more information, the media may contact the U.S. Army Special Operations Command public affairs office at 910-432-6005 or http://news.soc.mil/.

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Lance Herman Vogeler

Frederick Army Ranger killed in Afghanistan
Originally published October 05, 2010

By Megan Eckstein

Sgt. 1st Class Lance Herman Vogeler, 29, was killed in combat Friday while serving in Afghanistan.

Vogeler's Army Ranger unit was conducting combat operations in Helmand Province when a heavy firefight broke out and he was hit by indirect enemy fire, according to an Army news release.

The 1999 graduate of Gov. Thomas Johnson High School joined the Army in May 2001, and since December 2001 served with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment out of Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. He served seven deployments to Afghanistan and four to Iraq with that unit. [Ed note: Emphasise mine]

Vogeler leaves behind a pregnant wife, Melissa; a son, Kyle, 10; and a daughter, Madison, 11.

Vogeler's parents, Tim and Donna, both live in Frederick and work at the Maryland School for the Deaf. Vogeler's younger brother, Chris, also lives in Frederick.

The family went to Dover, Del., over the weekend for the dignified transfer of remains ceremony. Vogeler's family has not decided where he will be buried, said Peter Myers, a pastor at the Frederick Church of the Brethren, where Vogeler's parents participate in the deaf fellowship.

"In an organization full of great men, Lance Vogeler stood out for his leadership, dedication and all of his talents," Lt. Col. Michael Foster, commander of 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, said in an Army news release. "He has done so much for his nation over the past nine years of combat action it is hard to put it into words. His loss will be felt across the whole battalion and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

Vogeler had completed at least nine military education courses, including the U.S. Army Ranger Course, the Infantry Mortar Platoon Course and the Emergency Room Medical Technician Basic Course, the Army news release states. Since joining the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, he served as a gunner, fire direction chief, fire direction computer, squad leader and mortars section leader.

He was highly decorated, with medals and ribbons for his service and achievements. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal, according to the news release.

"I wish the American people could truly understand the dedication and sacrifice that Lance Vogeler made for his country," Col. Michael E. Kurilla, commander, 75th Ranger Regiment, said in the news release. "Since December 2001, Lance has either been in combat or training for combat. This was his 12th combat deployment. Lance was the quintessential Ranger; he is a hero to our Nation, the Army, and his family."

Myers, the pastor, said the soldier's commanders' words summed up Vogeler nicely. He was a natural leader and very dedicated to the military.

"It wasn't just a job for him," Myers said, but rather a calling and something he felt well trained to do.

As for the dozen deployments, Myers said "he knew to be a Ranger meant ... you had a responsibility and the expectation to serve" in frequent and dangerous tours.

Myers said Vogeler had shown that same dedication growing up. He was a Boy Scout and well on his way to completing the Eagle Scout requirements. He played soccer for Thomas Johnson High School and he was a devout Christian.

Vogeler's faith and friendliness merged in an unusual way, Myers said. After several fellow soldiers asked him to preside over their weddings, Vogeler finally applied for a license to perform marriage ceremonies in Georgia.

"It speaks obviously to his faith, but also the level of trust his men had in him," Myers said.

A second soldier was injured in the attack that killed Vogeler but is expected to recover, according to the Regiment's memorial website www.1stbn75thrgrregtmemorial.com/.

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