Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Friends, Co-Workers Remember Fallen Stryker Jeffrey Sherer
Sgt. Jeffrey Chul Soon Sherer was remembered Thursday morning as both a professional soldier and a good friend.
FAIRBANKS — Sgt. Jeffrey Chul Soon Sherer was remembered Thursday morning as both a professional soldier who took his leadership role in the Army seriously and a good friend who loved his pickup truck and high-octane energy drinks.
Among the soldiers who came to a memorial service at Fort Wainwright to speak about their fallen comrade, who was killed June 2 in Afghanistan, was Spc. Evan Walker, a younger soldier who said Sherer befriended him in January when they were both newly assigned to Fairbanks.
The two used to go to the post Exchange or Barnes & Noble to read magazines, and Sherer, 29, was always talking about things he planned to do with his truck, Walker said.
Sherer came to call Walker’s family his “Alaskan family.” He called himself their “man nanny,” because he sometimes washed dishes or cooked for them, Walker said. Their friendship continued this past spring when both men deployed to Afghanistan.
“Just a few short weeks ago I was sitting around the FOB (forward operating base, in Afghanistan) talking to him about all the things he wanted to get done to his truck when he got back to Alaska,” he said.
Sgt. Daniel McCaffrey, who read the 23rd Psalm during the memorial service, also met Sherer in Alaska.
“He always tried to come off as a tough personality, but he was really there for everyone,” he said of Sherer after the ceremony.
Like most other speakers at the memorial, McCaffrey associated Sherer with the bright green energy drink Monster. Sherer sometimes carried a 24-pack of it in his eight-wheeled Stryker vehicle when he was in the field, he said.
Originally from South Korea, Sherer joined the Army in 2005 and was previously stationed at Fort Irwin, Calif., and Fort Campbell, Ky. He had deployed to Afghanistan once before, where he served on the personal security detail of the eastern Afghanistan regional commander.
As a squad commander on his second deployment, Sherer oversaw a group of six to 10 soldiers.
Sherer was killed in the area of the town of Shah Joy, near the regional capital of Kandahar, when his Stryker vehicle hit a roadside bomb. He was a member of the 4,000 member 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, which left for a yearlong deployment to southern Afghanistan this spring.
At his memorial, the commander of his company quoted a soldier who once told him that, no matter how many gunshots and explosions were coming from a building, he would always be right behind Sherer if Sherer was going in.
Sherer was survived by his wife, father, an aunt and cousins. He married a few months before leaving for his deployment.
Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545.