Fallen Soldier: Stephen J. Sutherland

Stephen J. Sutherland
Dates: Died November 12, 2005
Hometown: West Deptford, NJ
Branch of Service: Army
Rank: Sergeant
Player: Madeleine Laux

Army Staff Sgt. Stephen J. Sutherland, 33, of West Deptford, New Jersey, was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Wainwright, Alaska. He was killed on November 12th, 2005, when his Stryker military vehicle lost a back tire and crashed in Qadisiyah, Iraq.

After high school, SSgt. Sutherland held several jobs but was not satisfied with any of them and was looking for some direction. He chose to follow in the footsteps of his father, a veteran, and enlisted in the U.S. Army on January 28th, 1998. He completed Basic Training and AIT in Kentucky and was sent to Fort Carson, Colorado for his first duty station. His final stationing was at Ft. Wainwright, Alaska. Operations he partook in include OIF/Iraqi Governance (2004-05).

Those close to him recalled the pride he had serving in the Army and how he showed no apprehensions about serving. "He was a big teddy bear of a guy, outgoing, a friend of everyone," his sister, Tracy Gilman said. "I think his dream, once he had enough money, was to have a farm. He was an outdoor guy who liked to snowmobile and fish."

Sutherland left behind his wife, Maria, whom he met while stationed at Fort Carson, and three children- Omar, Victor and his namesake, Stephen.