Amy R. Sinkler

PFC Amy R. Sinkler—January 2012 Shipment Honoree

Joined Army to leave small NC hometown

The Associated Press
Amy R. Sinkler Casket
Amy R. Sinkler Casket

Amy Sinkler’s reason for joining the military was simple: She wanted to get out of the little town where she grew up and spent her life, and see the world.

“Basically, we were in our hometown forever,” her best friend, Brittany Rahman, told The Fayetteville Observer. “We grew up there, didn’t travel much, so we wanted to get away and see different stuff.”

Sinkler graduated from West Columbus High School in Chadbourn, N.C., in 2006. Rahman graduated a year earlier. Both wound up joining the military.

Sinkler, 23, was killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack Jan. 20 in Baghlan province, Afghanistan. She was assigned to Fort Richardson, Alaska. She was a vehicle driver with a group at the post known as the “Rough Riders.”

Rahman said her friend had settled in well at the post, buying herself a car and marrying her high school boyfriend, Doug Sinkler.

The soldier was a strong-minded person and wasn’t one to hold back what she was feeling, Rahman said.

“That’s not Amy,” she said. “She’s going to tell you exactly how she’s feeling.”


Chadbourn native killed in Afghanistan attack

Pfc. Amy Renee Sinkler, 23, of Chadbourn died in Afghanistan when her convoy was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in an attack Wednesday evening. The West Columbus High School student graduated in 2006 and was a member of the 109th Transportation Brigade, the “Rough Riders,” assigned to Ft. Richardson in Alaska.

Sinkler was in the exposed turret of an armored MRAP in a convoy enroute to Forward Operating Base Killaghey in Baghlan Province when her vehicle was hit with the grenade at about 11:40 p.m. Afghanistan time, and she died about four hours later. Three others in the vehicle were not hurt.

She had joined the Army in August, 2009, joined the Rough Riders in January, 2010, and had served in Afghanistan since July for a 12-month tour. She was married to Doug Sinkler, her high school boyfriend.

Source: Whiteville article


Who Was Amy Sinkler?

Leo Dougherty
Amy Sinkler Work
Amy Sinkler Work

I don’t know Amy Sinkler.  I doubt you know her either.  She was just one of the more than 308 million people who make up the population of the United States.  Until recently her name meant nothing to me.  If I had passed her on the street I wouldn’t even know who she was.

I know her name now but I don’t know a whole lot more about her and there is this nagging feeling inside that I really should know more about her.  And there is this feeling of anger way deep down that keeps reminding me the majority of the more than 308 million people who make up the population of the United States should also know a lot about Amy Sinkler, and a lot more young people just like her.

Amy Sinkler was one of those young people who do a job not very many people want to do any more.  The little information I could find on her is that she was born August 11, 1987 in Whiteville, NC.  I was also able to find out that she graduated from West Columbus High School in 2006.

She was also a soldier in the US Army, 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Fort Richardson, Alaska.

On January 20, 2011 in Baghlan, Afghanistan, Pfc. Amy R. Sinkler lost her life when insurgents attacked her unit with a rocket propelled grenade.  She was just 23 years old.  One other thing I now know about her is that her residence is now forevermore the Butler Branch Cemetery in Fair Bluff, North Carolina.

If you do a Google search on her name, this will be about all you will be able to find on her, at least as of this writing.  I want to caution you, though.  You will see her picture and you may find it captivating.  Her eyes seem to be looking at you and through you, as though she sees into your soul.  Once you realize it is just a picture and study the eyes you may see, as I did, that those eyes seem to portray a confident, perhaps contented young woman who is not only aware of the decision she has made to serve her country but is at peace with whatever may happen and however her decision may turn out.  It’s as though she knows.

Her half-smile also seems to portray a confident woman.  It is not the usual stone-faced photo typical of a young soldier, sailor, airman, marine or Coast Guardsman.  There just seems to be this peace and confidence in her face – as though she knows what her destiny is and she is prepared to face it.  And there is pride.

Her death is of course, like those of so many other young people who served our country, a tragedy.  Who knows what she and others like her could have done for our world, our country, or whatever community they might have chosen to settle in to?

The real tragedy of course, beyond the loss her family feels, is not so much that you and I do not know very much about her but that so many outside our world – the world of those who have served – not only will never know anything about her, they won’t care.

I wish I knew more about Pfc. Amy R. Sinkler, and a whole lot of other young people just like her.  They are after all comrades in arms.  More importantly though, I wish the majority of those more than 308 million people knew more about her as they go about their day to day lives, oblivious to what Amy Sinkler’s family has to endure, oblivious to her sacrifice and her family’s sacrifice on behalf of this grateful nation.

Remains of Army Pfc. Amy R. Sinkler
Remains of Army Pfc. Amy R. Sinkler

Coffin photo caption – Chaplain Lt. Col. Stephen A. Tillett, left, directs a prayer over the transfer case containing the remains of Army Pfc. Amy R. Sinkler of Chadbourn, N.C., upon arrival at Dover Air Force Base, Del. on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011. The Department of Defense announced the death of Army Pfc. Amy R. Sinkler who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Source: The Veterans Voice


Community honors fallen 3rd MEB Soldier

by SSgt. Jason Epperson, 3rd MEB PAO

2/4/2011 – JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Service members gathered at the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Soldiers’ Chapel, Jan. 28, to honor Army Pfc. Amy R. Sinkler, who was 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 JBER.

“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.”

Sinkler attended Basic Combat 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 had 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,” said Army Sgt. Allen Patterson, Sinkler’s squad leader. “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.

Army 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.”

During the ceremony, 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 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.
Army Staff Sgt. Robert Leatherbee, a bugler with the 9th Army band, played “Taps” followed by Army Staff Sgt. James Kuppersmith of the 4th Quartermaster Detachment playing “Amazing Grace” on his bagpipes.

“Her untimely passing leaves us with an emptiness that will never go away,” Russell said, “She will live in all of us forever.”

Amy Sinkler Funeral
Amy Sinkler Funeral

Caption to picture for this article:  Army Sgt. James Patterson, 109th Transportation Company, 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, shares memories of Pfc. Amy Sinkler during a Jan. 28 memorial ceremony at the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Soldiers’ Chapel. (U.S. Army photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Epperson)

3 thoughts on “Amy R. Sinkler”

  1. I was with 10th Mountain Division Bravo Company (Blacksheep) stationed on a FOB in Baghlan Province the night Sinkler was hit. I was outside the medical tent when they brought her in after the attack. Our area was on of the hottest in the Northern Region. The rumor at the time was that local Taliban had brought in some hired chechen Special Forces to try to kill us, because we were taking a huge tole on the Taliban’ s ability to occupy the Northern Region , every engagement they had with us was very costly and they lost a lot of guys. So, the enemy set up an ambush outside our base in hopes of killing members of Black Sheep 10th Mountain Unit. When the supply convey Sinkler was in just happened to be passing by., they got slammed pretty bad. It’s my understanding that Sinkler had literally just relived a fellow soldier from the turret just before they were hit. I can tell you that she was not in an exposed turret though (it had armor armor around her when she was hit). The Taliban in our area where very precise with their RPG’s especially at roadside ambush distance (close distance less than 100-200 meters) several month prior in our area several German were killed when Taliban put several RPG’s in the crease of a closed tank door at no less than a couple hundred meters. So, they were pretty precise at those distances. But it was not like Amy Sinkler was half way out of her turret position with no protection . It was explained to me that Sinkler was hit by two RPGs which hit on the inside of her turret. The first which hit the inside and causing her confusion and initial injury which caused her to slightly lean forward just as the second RPG found its way into the front of her turret (which is the side she had leaned forward toward) when the second RPG struck that same forward area she had leaned toward. That RPG that did the most damage causing the fatal injuries. Also, she didn’t suffer for 4 hours. I spoke with one of the Corpsman who worked on her. He told me that when they where moving her to be extracted they didn’t have vitals, and when they were working on her in the tent prior to evacuating her, that she was going in and out on her vitals. So, I don’t mean to sound morbid by providing detail… but everything I was told would lead me to believe that her suffering did not last 4 hours. I can tell you that they had her in our medical tent on our FOB within a very short time after the ambush occurred (it literally happened right outside our base) and they did all the could you stabilize her to the point that she was going in and out and then they put her on the bird and evacuated her. I can honestly say she was airborne within the Golden Hour… but honestly when we all saw her trauma to her face and head, we were very concerned she wasn’t going to make it. She was a fighter though, I will say that. Taking to close hits from two RPGs like she did in an enclosed space and to hold on as long as she did… hardcore… I can tell you she earned a lot of respect on our FOB, and trust me gaining our respect wasn’t easily done with us, We were a frontline light Infantry Unit seeing firefights just about every time we left the wire for the whole time we were there that year. On a 4 and 3 rotation it was a lot of contact… so, our area was pretty hot nonstop. Her convey just passed by at the worst possible time frame. Just bad luck is all…
    Best wishes to any family members …

    1. Oh wow, Anthony. Your recall of what happened is so vivid and gripping. Thank you for sharing, you had me crying. Also, thank you for your service. God bless.

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