PFC Amy R. Sinkler—January 2012 Shipment Honoree
Joined Army to leave small NC hometownThe Associated Press
“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.
Who Was Amy Sinkler?Leo Dougherty
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.
Coffin photo caption – CChaplain 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)
Community honors fallen 3rd MEB Soldierby 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.”
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)