Soldiers and friends gather to pay their last respects to Pfc. Amy Renee Sinkler at the JBER Soldiers Chapel Jan. 28.
Photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Epperson
Service members gathered at the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Soldier Chapel last week to honor Army Pfc. Amy R. Sinkler, killed Jan. 20 during a convoy patrol in Baghlan Province, Afghanistan.
Sinkler, 23, of Chadbourn, N.C., was a motor transport operator assigned to the 109th Transportation Company "Rough Riders," 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade at Fort Richardson.
Her memorial service was held at the chapel on Jan. 28.
"She took her job seriously, despite how miserable the conditions were," said Army Lt. Col. Charles Russell, commanding officer, 17th CSSB (Provisional). "Nothing seemed to ever dampen her spirits. Although she was not a fan of the climate in Alaska, she always maintained a positive attitude and had a positive effect on those around her."
Pfc. Sinkler attended basic training and advanced individual training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. She was assigned to the 109th Transportation Company in January 2010.
In the short amount of time she was with the unit, she made an impact, according to those who served with her.
"Pfc. Sinkler was that soldier you would love to have in your squad, because she never complained about the job or the long hours that came with it," Sgt. Allen Patterson, her squad leader, said. "She was always joking and in a good mood that impacted all those around her."
"Courageous. Selfless. Spirited. Resilient. Cheerful. These are the few words that can be used to describe Pfc. Amy Renee Sinkler," Patterson said.
Chaplain (Maj.) Robert Williams called the chapel for a moment of silence to remember their fallen comrade.
"This great warrior died on foreign soil while fighting for her country, " Williams said. "Our nation owes her our upmost gratitude and earnest thanks. To her loving husband, parents and family: know that your precious one loved her family and country deeply. Pfc. Sinkler joins the thousands who have given, so that you and I might enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy today."
Pvt. Christopher Everett played guitar and sang his original song, "My Prayer," dedicated to Sinkler's memory.
Sgt. 1st Class James Pollard conducted a last roll call in which Pfc. Sinkler's name was called, but not answered. After the roll call, a rifle squad from the 95th Chemical Company fired a 21-gun salute.
Staff Sgt. Robert Leatherbee, a bugler with the 9th Army band, played "Taps" followed by Staff Sgt. James Kuppersmith of the 4th Quartermaster Detachment playing "Amazing Grace" on his bagpipe in full Scottish regalia.
"Her untimely passing leaves us with an emptiness that will never go away," Russell said, "She will live in all of us forever."
This article published in The Alaska Star on Thursday, February 3, 2011.