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Godspeed Captain Sims

Posted By Blackfive • [November 17, 2004]

I had read about Captain Sean Sims and how his men openly wept for him in front of a reporter when he had been killed in Fallujah.  Here is the story that I saw about him.  I'll post the complete story in the Extended Section in case it disappears into the news archives.

TexasBug has a lot of information about Captain Sims - a Company Commander who was killed in Fallujah two days ago - from the media and his mother.  TB also includes funeral information.

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Infantry company loses esteemed leader
Capt. Sean Sims, who commanded Alpha Company and was respected and liked by his soldiers, died after a confrontation with rebels in Fallujah.


Knight Ridder News Service

Capt. Sean Sims was up early Saturday, looking at maps of Fallujah and thinking of the day's battle. His fingers, dirty and cracked, traced a route that snaked down the city's southern corridor.

''We've killed a lot of bad guys,'' he said. ``But there's always going to be some guys left. They'll hide out and snipe at us for two months. I hope we've gotten the organized resistance.''

Sims, a 32-year-old from Eddy, Texas, commanded his Alpha Company without raising his voice. His men liked and respected him. When faced with a broken down vehicle or rocket-propelled grenades exploding outside, he'd shake his head a little and say, in his mellow drawl, ``We'll be OK. This'll work out.''

When he noticed that one of his soldiers, 22-year-old Arthur Wright, wasn't getting any care packages from home, Sims arranged for his wife, a teacher, to have her students send cards and presents.

Sitting in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle that was pocked by shrapnel from five days of heavy fighting, Sims figured he and his men -- of the 1st Infantry Division's Task Force 2-2 -- had three or four days left before returning to base.

They were in southwest Fallujah, where hard-core gunmen were still shooting from houses connected by labyrinths of covered trench lines and low roofs.

BOMBED BUILDINGS

A CNN crew came by, and Sims' men led them around the ruins, showing them the bombed-out buildings and bodies of insurgents that had been gnawed on by neighborhood dogs and cats.

The father of an infant son, Sims was still trying to get over the death of his company's executive officer, Lt. Edward Iwan, a 28-year-old from Albion, Neb., who'd been shot through the torso the night before with an RPG.

''It's tough. I don't know what to think about it yet,'' he said slowly, searching for words. ``All of this will be forever tainted because we lost him.''

Shaking off the thought, he threw on his gear and went looking for houses to clear.

A group of rebels was waiting. They spied on soldiers who occupied nearby houses without knowing the enemy was so close.

When Sims and his men came through the front door, gunfire raged for a few minutes. Two soldiers were hit near the shoulder and rushed out by the man next to them.

Crouching by a wall outside, Sgt. Randy Laird screamed into his radio, ``Negative, I cannot move, we're pinned down right now! We have friendlies down! Friendlies down!''

WAITING FOR HELP

The 24-year-old from Lake Charles, La., crouched down on a knee waiting for help.

A line of troops ran up, taking cover from the bullets. They shot their way into the house.

Sims lay on a kitchen floor, his blood pouring across dirty tile.

His men gasped. There was no life in his eyes.

The men sprinted to a house to get a medic.

When the troops rushed back, they lifted Sims' body into a pile of blankets and carried it into the closest Bradley.

Six soldiers piled in after, trying not to step on the body.

In the back of the Bradley with Sims' body, no one spoke.

The only sound was Wright sobbing in the darkness.


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