Soldier Honored: Robert D. Odell
Branch of Service: Army
Army Sergeant Major Robert D. Odell, 38, of Manassas, Virginia, was assigned to Army Intelligence & Security Command based in Fort Belvoir, Virginia and served during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. On December 21, 2004, SGM Odell and 24 others were killed when a suicide bomber attacked the dining facility at the base in Mosul, Iraq.
SGM Odell graduated from Apple Valley High School in 1984 and joined the Army in September 1985. After completing the difficult and prestigious Ranger school, SGM Odell decided to try for the Army Special Forces – the Green Berets – in 1989. Not only did he succeed in this endeavor, but he scored in the top 5% of his class. His high score, determination and professional manner allowed him to perform many secret missions during his 19 years of service. SGM Odell was twice awarded the Combat Infantryman’s badge, the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Legion of Merit medal and Defense Meritorious Service medal for his service and sacrifice.
“He was a brave and courageous individual – doing a job that needed to be done,” said Deborah Y. Parker, spokeswoman for the Army Intelligence and Security Command. “He strove for excellence in everything he did,” said his sister, Jeannie Taylor. “He was outstanding in everything.”
All three of the Odell children are Folds of Honor Scholarship recipients.