Samson, Jr

Samson, Jr
Samson, Jr
Army SPC
Hesperia, MI
07/24/2006
Age: 
24
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Memorial Location: 

American Legion Post 381
6812 S. Croton-Hardy Drive
Newaygo, MI

Killed by small arms fire while engaged in combat operations, in Taqaddum, Iraq.

Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY.

Dennis was born on September 1, 1981, to Dennis Samson Sr. and Dawn Ackley in Beaufort, South Carolina. He was the oldest of three siblings, Dana, his brother and Micki, his sister. Dennis also had stepbrothers and sisters, Randy Ackley II, Jerry Ackley, Danielle Jeppesen and Leslie Preston. He enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandparents. The family moved to Michigan and Dennis attended Hesperia High School. He ran cross-country and was a member of the track team and graduated in 2000.

After graduation he worked part-time at a local resort and attended Baker College, majoring in Culinary Arts. Dennis had a passion for traveling and soon moved to Virginia Beach for a year. When his brother Dana moved to Chicago, Dennis soon joined him. Dennis also made a trip to Cancun, Mexico, before returning home to join the Army.

Dennis, along with his brother Dana, enlisted in the Army in early 2004. In April 2004, Dennis received orders for boot camp, assigned to D Company 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry ITB, USAIS, Ft. Benning, GA. After completing basic training he was transferred to Infantry UA4, 101st Airborne, Fort Campbell, KY, for infantry training. After graduation, Dennis was assigned to B Company, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY.

The 506th Infantry Regiment received orders to deploy to Iraq in November 2005. They arrived in Kuwait, stayed for two weeks and then moved on into Iraq where they were stationed at FOB Camp Corregidor, Ar Ramadi. While there Dennis served as Squad Automatic Rifleman and his mission was the security of Route Michigan.

On 24 July 2006, Specialist Dennis K. Samson, Jr. made the ultimate sacrifice when he was killed by small arms fire while conducting combat operations in Taqaddum, Iraq.

Dennis was a good soldier and his Captain spoke well of him, saying, “He was a quiet professional who put on his kit twice a day, every day, and stood guard in the 120 degree heat. He ran the IED gauntlet down ASR Michigan every day, because someone had to do it. He was a well-disciplined and competent infantryman. He personally spent nearly 2,000 hours outside the wire. When attacks came, he repelled them, and went back to his task of securing the road. He had a purpose. He stood guard to ensure ASR Michigan remained free of IEDs and insurgent ambushes. He was a special kind of man. Try and find the person who did not get along with Specialist Samson. They are few and far between, but the people who would call him friend are many. I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to be his Company Commander. I am a better man and a better commander for having known and served with him.

Specialist Dennis K. Samson, Jr.’s awards and decorations include: the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Overseas Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

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