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Spc Kurt M Magill

City, State

Unit

February 21, 1990

 

Killed while on  a peacekeeping mission along the coast of Panama in a helicopter crash.

 

 

 

 

From Steve Long 07/09/10:

My name is Steve Long. I am a correctional officer that works in a small town called Corcoran in California. I've been employed there for about 15 years . I didn't even know a site like this existed and I think that if you knew any of these guys the way I did that it is not only honorable but necessary to speak of them. 

I was Kurt Magill's squad leader (previously Sgt. Long back then) upon his introduction to the light infantry at Fort Ord California. Seems like a lifetime ago. Kurt was a picture perfect trainee when he first got to Fort Ord and continued to improve week after week. He was eager, always trying to excel all the time. This was difficult for him sometimes because he wasn't a particularly big guy but what he didn't have in size he made up for in drive. 

Kurt was well liked by everyone and always maintained a good sense of humor and direction. Eventually Kurt was moved to a different squad. This happened from time to time just because of people leaving the service or getting orders to go somewhere else. I hated to lose him given the time and effort I had in training him but it was just the way it was. 

The moving between squads happened shortly before our deployment to Panama which is probably why his death has always effected me a little differently. Everybody was close in our platoons and all of the guys who died were exceptional soldiers. All of them. They were true hardcore guys. They didn't start out that way but by the time we deployed to our mission in Panama they were all as well trained as any Lightfighter could be.

I thought Kurt had mentioned to me that his wife was pregnant and was going to have a kid. I often wonder about that and think of what kind of questions his child might have about him as a soldier and maybe about the circumstances surrounding his death. I have an amazing son who probably is around the same age and I believe he would probably have questions. 

It's been a long time since that seriously screwed up night in Panama. I don't think we should have been flying with a tropical storm looming around the corner anyway but you just do what you told. Kurt was like that.

 

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