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The Reaper
01-24-2004, 19:15
Sgt. Gene Arden Vance Jr. was honored in his hometown Sunday, May 26, at a public memorial service at West Virginia University’s Mountainlair Ballrooms on the Downtown Morgantown Campus. Vance, 38, was killed May 19, 2002 in eastern Afghanistan near Shkin, when his unit came under fire from suspected al-Qaeda or Taliban forces. He served in the 2nd Battalion of the 19th Special Forces Unit based in Kenova, W.Va.

Vance was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant (E-6) and awarded the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his role in the war on terrorism. He had already earned a Bronze Star for previous service.

Vance’s widow, Lisa, received the West Virginia state flag from Gov. Bob Wise, and WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. presented her with an honorary diploma for a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree posthumously.

Hardesty said WVU was proud and honored to participate in this memorial service. "Sgt. Gene Vance was one of ours. He attended WVU from 1991-1995 and had re-enrolled last fall but was called to active duty after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. While I did not know him then, I feel as though I know him now. I have learned that he was a proud and dedicated soldier, a devoted husband to Lisa, a dedicated father to Amber and a wonderful son, brother and friend. He gave his life for America and for that we thank him, but we will miss him."

Vance was the first member of the West Virginia National Guard to die while on active duty since World War II. His unit, which has deployed 236 troops to the Middle East, is the nation’s highest-rated group of its kind.

The McDowell County native graduated from Oceana High School in Wyoming County in 1981. He served in the Army before returning to West Virginia to attend WVU in the early 1990s. He later joined the National Guard and also worked at the Whitetail Bicycle and Fitness Center in Morgantown.

An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed mountain biking, backpacking and whitewater paddling. He also loved live music performances, especially the music of Dick Dale.

Approximately 1,000 people attended the Sunday service, including the Vance family and state and national military and government officials. A memorial fund has been established at Wesbanco - Sabraton branch, 1350 Earl Core Road, Morgantown, WV 26505. Donations may be directed to the Sgt. Gene A. Vance, Jr. Memorial Fund.

The Reaper
01-24-2004, 19:16
Photo.

swpa19
05-19-2009, 10:01
SSG Gene A. Vance Jr.
30 November 1963 - 19 May 2002


R.I.P. Gene. Your missed by friends and team mates.

booker
05-19-2009, 10:14
Damn it has been 7 years. Rest in Peace brother, I miss our conversations and rides at Cooper's.

JJ_BPK
05-19-2009, 10:19
RIP, SSG Vance, Vaya con Dios

Rogue
05-19-2009, 13:39
Rest in Peace

Red Flag 1
05-19-2009, 13:40
Rest In Peace SSG Vance!

Thank you for your service!

SF_BHT
05-19-2009, 14:43
Rest In Peace SSG Vance

TOMAHAWK9521
05-19-2009, 15:05
Vance was a good guy. RIP brother.

greenberetTFS
05-19-2009, 20:04
Gone,but not forgotten.


www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn_iz8z2AGw - Cached

God Bless,Rest in Peace Warrior.....:(

He was just a simple soldier and his ranks are growing thin
But his presence should remind us; we may need his like again,
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.......:(

Perhaps just a simple headline in the paper that might say:
OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING, FOR A SOLDIER DIED TODAY. (author unknown)

The passing of our soldiers often go unnoticed and unsung by most of the world, remembered only by family and friends. Wish it were not so. May he RIP, his family will be in my thoughts and prayers.........:(

I realize it's a Canadian song,however I believe most appropriate for this occasion..:(

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrkgV5bl7kQ

Big Teddy

Savoy6
05-20-2009, 11:31
Blue Skies...

Enigma0122
05-20-2009, 12:53
Rest in Peace. Warrior.

booker
05-19-2010, 20:11
Another year, still seems like yesterday. Rest in peace brother, you are missed.

booker
05-19-2011, 19:49
It's been 9 years brother - I've begun to tell your stories to your namesake (he's finally old enough) - he's starting to understand why you were thought so highly of by all of us. It was an honor to have known you.

wet dog
05-19-2011, 20:29
Rest in Peace brother, you're missed by many.

KLB
05-19-2011, 22:07
Rest in peace.

SOFwarrior02
11-02-2011, 10:52
I was fortunate to work with some of his compatriots in MeS in 2002. He passed one day before my birthday, so his memory is especially one I will never forget. The vehicle (Serf) he was in was an almost exact model our team drove in the area. This was a tragic loss to WV as well as the SOF community. RIP, SSG Vance.:mad:

swpa19
05-19-2012, 18:53
Ten years ago today. Lisa and Amber are in our thoughts and prayers.

Astronomy
05-19-2012, 19:36
Salute and RIP SSG Gene Vance. I'm proud to have been a brother in arms with you and 2/19. It seems like yesterday...hard to believe a decade has passed.

Richard
05-22-2012, 11:27
RIP, Soldier.

Gene Arden Vance, Jr.

http://www.groups.sfahq.com/19th/gene_arden_vance_kia.htm

lindy
05-22-2012, 12:54
RIP brother.

http://www.nsa.gov/about/_files/memorial_wall/vance.pdf

TOMAHAWK9521
08-10-2012, 19:56
By: Melissa Keeney | WSPA-TV
Published: August 08, 2012

CANTON, N.C. --

Patriotism is personal for Rodney Barnes. "Once you've been in the military, it's something that sticks with you," he says. The veteran has a strong American pride, but he says it was a trip to Myrtle Beach last week that really reminded him what this country's all about. "We were walking along the beach searching for treasures, when Conner, our 10 year old finds the bracelet."

Hidden amongst seashells on the beach, the family found a dark metal bracelet. The inscription: Sgt. Gene A Vance SOT-A, KIA 5-19-02 Afghanistan, 19th Special Forces Group. "The first thing I noticed was it said K-I-A, or killed in action," remembers Barnes. "It immediately struck a chord with me that he gave his life for us, and it was a tribute to him."

Barnes quickly got to work, scouring the internet for information about the soldier. He discovered that Vance, from West Virginia, was killed in a fire fight with the Taliban shortly after troops were first sent into Afghanistan. Barnes suddenly set out on a mission to get the bracelet back to Sergeant Vance's family. "I realized I've got to find these people," he says. Several searches online turned up dead ends. "I was kinda going into a panic," he says. "I'm thinking what can I do, and it hit me. Maybe I'll try Facebook."

Within hours, Barnes posted a picture of the bracelet on his Facebook page, begging for friends and family to share the photo and help him track Vance's relatives down. Soon, the responses started pouring in. "I got replies from people in California, New Hampshire, Texas, Louisiana, Florida," Barnes says, while choking back tears. "It was just awesome. It was that moment that told me that our country still reveres our heroes and loves them for who they are and what they've done."

Quickly, a connection in North Carolina was the one that paid off. "A lady emailed me and said, I've found Lisa Vance, his widow," Rodney says. The next day Barnes contacted Lisa Vance, and told her the story of finding the bracelet. She revealed another twist in the story. "She said you don't know what this means to me. The bracelet is not mine. I'm not the owner. But that someone thought enough of me to do this is overwhelming," Barnes says.

Seven on Your Side got in touch with Vance by phone from Orlando, Florida. She says the response over the bracelet brought her to tears. "It is amazingly wonderful to feel like I just got a big hug from the entire country," she says. "And I really needed it."

Her gratitude is more than enough thanks for Barnes, who says he just wanted to give the hero his own appreciation. "Flowers fade, cards go by the wayside," he says. "But to me, something like this stands. I couldn't think of a better way to say thank you so much."

Barnes plans to mail the bracelet to the widow this week. Vance, who believes it might belong to a member of her late husband's unit, says she will make it her mission to find the owner.

http://www2.wspa.com/news/2012/aug/08/western-north-carolina-man-finds-fallen-soldiers-b-ar-4304081/

SOFwarrior02
08-13-2012, 09:31
I was in northern Afghanistan with ODA 1962 when word of his passing was made known. It was two days prior to my 25th birthday. The vehicle he was accompanied to rding/driving in was almost identical to the model my TPT was operating in. His passing was a lessons learned moment concerning tactics, techniques, and procedures. We implemented lessons learned and as a result was able to provide a necessary adjust to security procedures in our future operations in theater. He was a wonderful guy from those who knew hime better than I. It is an honor to have known him through his peers. It would have been a further blessing to know him personally. His legacy was instrumental in accomplishing a similiar feat - His presence has been made known to all who inquire. His impact has been far reaching as well and gives hope to those who would be discouraged and those who voice begs to be freed from oppression no matter the plight life has had on them personally! God Bless this man, his family, and the 19th SFG (A) out of the great state of West Virginia!


By: Melissa Keeney | WSPA-TV
Published: August 08, 2012

CANTON, N.C. --

Patriotism is personal for Rodney Barnes. "Once you've been in the military, it's something that sticks with you," he says. The veteran has a strong American pride, but he says it was a trip to Myrtle Beach last week that really reminded him what this country's all about. "We were walking along the beach searching for treasures, when Conner, our 10 year old finds the bracelet."

Hidden amongst seashells on the beach, the family found a dark metal bracelet. The inscription: Sgt. Gene A Vance SOT-A, KIA 5-19-02 Afghanistan, 19th Special Forces Group. "The first thing I noticed was it said K-I-A, or killed in action," remembers Barnes. "It immediately struck a chord with me that he gave his life for us, and it was a tribute to him."

Barnes quickly got to work, scouring the internet for information about the soldier. He discovered that Vance, from West Virginia, was killed in a fire fight with the Taliban shortly after troops were first sent into Afghanistan. Barnes suddenly set out on a mission to get the bracelet back to Sergeant Vance's family. "I realized I've got to find these people," he says. Several searches online turned up dead ends. "I was kinda going into a panic," he says. "I'm thinking what can I do, and it hit me. Maybe I'll try Facebook."

Within hours, Barnes posted a picture of the bracelet on his Facebook page, begging for friends and family to share the photo and help him track Vance's relatives down. Soon, the responses started pouring in. "I got replies from people in California, New Hampshire, Texas, Louisiana, Florida," Barnes says, while choking back tears. "It was just awesome. It was that moment that told me that our country still reveres our heroes and loves them for who they are and what they've done."

Quickly, a connection in North Carolina was the one that paid off. "A lady emailed me and said, I've found Lisa Vance, his widow," Rodney says. The next day Barnes contacted Lisa Vance, and told her the story of finding the bracelet. She revealed another twist in the story. "She said you don't know what this means to me. The bracelet is not mine. I'm not the owner. But that someone thought enough of me to do this is overwhelming," Barnes says.

Seven on Your Side got in touch with Vance by phone from Orlando, Florida. She says the response over the bracelet brought her to tears. "It is amazingly wonderful to feel like I just got a big hug from the entire country," she says. "And I really needed it."

Her gratitude is more than enough thanks for Barnes, who says he just wanted to give the hero his own appreciation. "Flowers fade, cards go by the wayside," he says. "But to me, something like this stands. I couldn't think of a better way to say thank you so much."

Barnes plans to mail the bracelet to the widow this week. Vance, who believes it might belong to a member of her late husband's unit, says she will make it her mission to find the owner.

http://www2.wspa.com/news/2012/aug/08/western-north-carolina-man-finds-fallen-soldiers-b-ar-4304081/

booker
08-13-2012, 16:04
I was in northern Afghanistan with ODA 1962 when word of his passing was made known. It was two days prior to my 25th birthday. The vehicle he was accompanied to rding/driving in was almost identical to the model my TPT was operating in. His passing was a lessons learned moment concerning tactics, techniques, and procedures. We implemented lessons learned and as a result was able to provide a necessary adjust to security procedures in our future operations in theater. He was a wonderful guy from those who knew hime better than I. It is an honor to have known him through his peers. It would have been a further blessing to know him personally. His legacy was instrumental in accomplishing a similiar feat - His presence has been made known to all who inquire. His impact has been far reaching as well and gives hope to those who would be discouraged and those who voice begs to be freed from oppression no matter the plight life has had on them personally! God Bless this man, his family, and the 19th SFG (A) out of the great state of West Virginia!

SOF- you hit the nail on the head. I knew Gene from the civilian side, and he was held in high regard by those who had the pleasure of knowing him. I'm continually amazed by the sheer number of people who knew him or knew of him.

theBilldoman
08-16-2012, 19:33
I never had to opportunity to me Gene but so long as my ruck sits in that team room I will ensure all incoming personnel know of his sacrifice. RIP and Montani Semper Liberi, Brother.

Team Sergeant
05-11-2017, 17:12
A message from Gene's brother:




I would like to let everyone know about the upcoming 6th Gene Vance Jr. Day in Morgantown, WV on May 18th. The event is to honor all of our veterans, first responders and defenders. I hope some of you can make it. Here is some information about the day:

http://www.genevancejr.org/genevancejrday2017

http://www.genevancejr.org/gvjd-program-2017

Thank you all so much for your service to our country.