• January 31, 2015

1st Cav honors fallen pair

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Posted: Friday, September 18, 2009 12:00 pm | Updated: 8:10 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Amanda Kim Stairrett

Killeen Daily Herald

Sgt. 1st Class Johnny Roosevelt Polk was serving his third deployment to Iraq in five years when he lost his life to an anti-tank grenade.

The 39-year-old died July 25 in Germany from his wounds, two days after the attack on his vehicle in Kirkuk, Iraq.

Second Lt. James D. Fortin was a 22-year-old field artillery officer on his first deployment when his vehicle was struck with a car bomb Aug. 23 in Hussaniyah, Iraq.

The two 1st Cavalry Division soldiers were remembered Thursday during a ceremony at Fort Hood.

Polk, a Mississippi native, joined the Army in March 1992 and deployed to Iraq in 2004 and 2006. He deployed to Iraq with the division's Bravo Battery, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, in February 2009.

His military awards and decorations include two Bronze Stars, a Meritorious Service Medal, Purple Heart, two Army Commendation medals, three Army Achievement Medals, five Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Combat Action Badge and Air Assault Badge.

He is survived by his wife, Wanonia; four sons, Kenney, Deandra, Alvin and Xavier; and daughter, Mary.

Fortin graduated from Rhode Island's Roger William University in 2008 with a degree in criminal justice. He was soon assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team's 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, where he served as Comanche Troop's fire support officer.

He directed the troop's "governance and civil capacity projects, drastically improving the quality of life for thousands of Iraqis" in rural areas, according to information from the division.

His decorations and awards include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Combat Action Badge.

He is survived by his wife, Nicquelle; and parents, Martin and Elizabeth Fortin.

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