Soldier Honored: David Roger Lee Staats
Hometown: Pueblo, Colorado
Branch of Service: Army
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant David Roger Lee Staats, CAV Scout Vehicle Commander, was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. SSG Staats served during Operation Iraqi Freedom. SSG Staats was killed in Taji, Iraq on Saturday, December 16, 2006, after his armored vehicle was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Also killed were Specialist Matthew J. Stanley and Private First Class Seth M. Stanton.
SSG Staats was born August 22, 1976, in Portsmouth, Virginia. As a child, he dreamt of becoming a fireman or paramedic. Instead, he grew up and joined the Army. He graduated from Cactus High School in Glendale, Arizona in 1995. SSG Staats proudly served over 9 years in the U.S. Army; 2 tours in Kosovo, a tour in Kuwait & was 7 weeks into his 2nd tour of Operation Iraqi Freedom. SSG Staats received the Purple Heart for his selfless service.
SSG Staats was a likeable man, known for making others laugh. He was a remarkable leader, husband, father, son & friend. A father of two, he had a significant impact on his children’s lives – both in the way he lived and the way he died. When recalling SSG Staats, his daughter says, “He taught me how to have the kindest heart and to always put in my whole effort into whatever I choose to do. He taught me to never let my past get to me and to always look forward.” His daughter explained, “most of all, my dad's life and his death have taught me to live with purpose and to try to make a positive difference in this world.”