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Old 10-09-2011, 10:55   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NorCal
Posts: 15,370
SFC Earl R. Fillmore

Earl was an 18D with A-1/7th prior to his selection and assignmnet to 1st SFOD-D.

RIP, warrior. DOL.


New Cumberland Army Depot Medical Clinic Named To Honor Soldier Killed In Combat
PennLive, 4 Oct 2011

Most special forces soldiers look grim in their official photographs, but not Sgt. First Class Earl Fillmore.

The Pennsylvania native who died in the battle of Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993 wore a jaunty smile, a sign of the quirky wit he displayed throughout his life, friends said.

Fillmore was honored Monday during a ceremony at the New Cumberland Defense Distribution Center when a medical clinic was named in his memory.

Lt. Col. Robert Mabry, who spoke Monday, told of the time Fillmore mounted a pair of warthog tusks onto his helmet and paraded around the compound in Somalia half naked.

But when it came to his job, there was no more professional soldier than Fillmore, Mabry said.

“He was a fearless and tenacious combat medic,” said Mabry, who served in Somalia with Fillmore. “He kept his medic skills intact so he could not only fight his way out of a tight spot, but he could take care of his injured comrades.”

During the battle of Mogadishu, the fight made famous in the movie “Black Hawk Down,” Fillmore fought through the streets to reach the crash site of a downed helicopter in an attempt to rescue his comrades. He was fatally wounded defending his force.

Big Spring High School graduate Randall Shughart was killed in the battle. Shughart and Master Sgt. Gary Gordon were posthumously awarded Medals of Honor in 1994 for their actions in the battle.

According to the ceremony’s program notes, “as a direct result of his superior marksmanship and demonstrated bravery, many members of the assault force were spared injury or possible death.”

Fillmore was awarded the Silver Star for valor posthumously.

His sister, Brenda Perry, said she met a soldier who fought with him who told her, “it was because of your brother we were able to come home.”

Fillmore was born in Latrobe near Pittsburgh, the youngest of seven children and the only boy. His mother, his six sisters and several nieces and nephews attended Monday’s ceremony.

Perry said the brother she knew as “Poocher,” “Little Earl,” “The Boy,” or “Sparky” was always a dreamer, an achiever and a risk taker.

As a child, he would relate stories about his adventures in the Army “when he used to be big,” she said.

He joined the Army at 17, right after high school, getting his training as a medic. When he was 24, he became the youngest soldier ever to be accepted into the Army’s elite Delta Force, where he became a counter-terrorist.

Fillmore fought in Panama, Iraq and elsewhere before he was assigned to Somalia. Perry said he was involved in secret operations his family did not even know about. He loved his 10 years in the military, she said.

Capt. Donald Varos, retired, a physician’s assistant at the facility now known as the SFC Earl Fillmore Army Health Clinic, said he met Fillmore during their early medic training. Varos pushed for the clinic's name, which took a couple of years to accomplish.

“I feel Earl exemplified America’s best,” he said. “The green beret, the Delta Force. He was a true warrior. He could be a clown, but when it came to combat, he was a dedicated professional. He was just a really good guy.”

The medical clinic at the army depot serves more than 2,000 active duty soldiers, their families and retirees, as well as about 4,000 civilian workers.

Mabry said Fillmore helped inspire him to continue his studies, get his medical degree and remain in the Army, where he is now chief physician of the U.S. Army Emergency Medicine Fellowship Program.

Mabry said special forces medics need to be highly trained in medicine because they often serve in remote areas during guerrilla warfare and might not reach safety for days on end. According to Varos, “we’re trained to be in the middle of nowhere without a lot.”

Fillmore then also trained in marksmanship, patrolling, parachuting and the other disciplines of the elite forces.

Brig Gen. Joseph Caravalho, commanding general of the Northern Regional Medical Command, said during the ceremony, “I am in utter awe of all this man could accomplish in his life.”

Perry said her brother never bragged about his accomplishments. She said he was dedicated, witty, educated, fun, considerate and humble.

“If he were looking down from heaven now, he would wonder, ‘What’s all the fuss?” she said. “It’s about you, Earl. It’s all about you.”

Attached Images
File Type: jpg SFC ER Fillmore.jpg (6.3 KB, 588 views)
File Type: jpg SFC Earl R Fillmore.jpg (8.2 KB, 567 views)
“Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)… There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.” - To Kill A Mockingbird (Atticus Finch)

“Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.” - Robert Heinlein
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