A Tribute to Unsung Heroes

We generally post news articles detailing the need for better veteran care, the cost of war at home, and other “unsung” or neglected issues that vitally need to be addressed in this country. However, I’d like to take a break and recognize an unsung hero.


Captain Erick Foster, commander of A Troop, 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Paratrooper, based at Fort Bragg, N.C., was killed in action last week.

The mission which took his life resulted in the death of 18 insurgents, the capture of 5 terrorists, the disarming of 10 IED’s (bombs), and the liberation of 2 Iraqi prisoners of war (al Qaeda takes many Iraqi prisoners that American soldiers frequently liberate – however, these victories are rarely covered by the media). Regardless of your political stance on the Iraq War, Erick firmly believed in the cause, would frequently comment on the great good that the troops are doing, and the need to remain resolute.

The following was written by his commanding officer concerning his death:

He died of a gunshot wound to the shoulder that penetrated into his chest. CPT Foster was accompanying one of his Platoon’s on a combat patrol in a terrorist safe haven in the Diyala River Valley when the incident occurred. The incident occurred at approximately 9:13 PM Eastern Standard Time on the 28th of August 2007.

CPT Foster was evacuated by medical evacuation helicopter to the 332nd AFTH shortly after the incident where he underwent immediate treatment in attempts to save his life. Despite the heroic efforts of the medical staff, CPT Foster’s injuries were too extensive and he passed away. Erick’s death is a terrible loss to our Task Force, and our thoughts and prayers go to Erick’s family.

CPT Foster served with honor and distinction, as evidenced by two bronze stars, a purple hart, a Ranger Tab, and numerous other awards for his courage and leadership as an officer. His obituary may be found here, and I highly recommend it, as the author did an incredible job honoring his service and his memory.

I had the pleasure of meeting CPT Foster while he was on leave from duty. He came to St. Louis to visit family (who I am good friends with). You would have never known that he regularly led men into combat, or that he has been awarded some of the highest medals the U.S. Military has to offer. While I never had the chance to know him well, I know many who have been so blessed, and can confidently say that he will be greatly missed.

As we struggle with the realities of war at home, we must not forget the sacrifice, courage, and dedication of soldiers with “boots on ground.” Each of them is an “unsung hero,” and to write about each and every one as their sacrifices merit and deserve, are beyond the abilities of even the most gifted poet. If asked, Erick would say that what he was doing was nothing more than any of the soldiers he led on a daily basis. This is not the exception, but the norm for most soldiers, and Erick embodies this warrior ethos.

Thus, I write this article as a tribute to the U.S. Soldier, who’s personal courage, sacrifice, and dedication is exemplified by Captain Erick Foster.

I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.
– The Soldier’s Creed


~ by Brad Edwards on September 5, 2007.

2 Responses to “A Tribute to Unsung Heroes”

  1. hi

  2. I served briefly with CPT Foster and the task force during the Spring of 2006. Alpha Troop was a fine unit. He was a fine officer, and a fine man. I didn’t know him that well, but I think of him whenever I remember the fallen, and that is often.

    CPT John Sweet
    3-157th FA
    Palmer Lake, CO

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