A memorial ceremony was conducted Dec. 12 at Morris Hill Chapel for Staff Sgt. Darrell C. Tucker, Company D, 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. Tucker died Nov. 29 while on leave during the Thanksgiving holiday.
"It's never an easy thing for a commander to know what to say or how to say it in times like these," said Tucker's commander, Capt. Matthew Clift, 3rd AHB, 1st Avn. Regt., CAB, 1st Inf. Div. "I personally felt shock, disbelief and anger, but the worst was a deep sense of loss."
Clift described Tucker as a valuable leader and thanked him for his service to the battalion and the nation.
"Darrell was the epitome of the word 'leader,'" said Spc. Justin Cowdrey, during the Soldier's Tribute portion of the memorial. "Whether it be helping Soldiers with issues at work or helping with issues offline, he was one of those leaders that would sacrifice his time to help anyone who asked for it."
Cowdrey said Tucker was a mentor, teaching the next generation of crew chiefs how to conduct missions and instilling in them the basic values of being a crew member and a Soldier.
"Everyone that had the great honor of crossing paths with this man will never forget the friendship – the camaraderie – that Darrell Tucker was so gracious to give to us," Cowdrey said. "He influenced an unaccountable number of people through the course of his time he served in the U.S. Army."
Tucker will be missed, Cowdrey said, but never forgotten.
Tucker's awards and decorations include the Air Medal – fourth award, Army Commendation Medal – second award, Army Achievement Medal – fifth award, Army Good Conduct Medal – fifth award, Iraqi Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon – fifth award, Combat Action Badge, the Senior Aircrew Member Badge, Driver and Mechanic Badge and the Driver and Mechanic Wheeled Vehicles Badge.
Tucker is survived by his wife, Juliann Cook; and two children, Darrell Colby Tucker Jr. and Trinity Nicole Tucker.