|From USO uso.org
USO Sailor of the Year Dies in Action in Afghanistan
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
By Christian Pelusi
Navy EOD1 and 2011 USO Sailor of the Year Chad R. Regelin of Anderson, Calif., was killed in action by a roadside bomb on Monday while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
His older brother Justin told the Redding Record-Searchlight that Petty Officer Regelin was killed just an hour after speaking with his family over the phone.
"He called us while he was on watch," Justin said. "He was really upbeat because he had just gotten his orders to come back stateside on Feb. 15. He told us that he had about a week to go (in Kandahar) before they could helicopter in the replacement team."
Petty Officer Regelin was honored as USO Sailor of the Year at the 2011 USO Gala for "distinguish[ing] himself during combat operations in Afghanistan while assigned to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Three." He was on his second deployment to Afghanistan so he was unable to attend the event last October. His parents, Shirene and Scott, accepted the award in his absence.
His parents posted their emotions on Shirene Regelinís Facebook page:
"Thank You Everyone...My heart is absolutly [sic] breaking at this time!! I wish someone could tell me it is not true!!! I don't think I will ever get the picture out of my mind of the four men standing at the door to give me the news. I just want him to come home and let me hug him. I honestly do not know how I am going to get through this!! I LOVE YOU CHAD!!!"
"The USO family is deeply saddened to learn of U.S. Navy Petty Officer Chad R. Regelin's death," said USO President Sloan Gibson. "The USO was honored to hear Chad's story and meet his family and we know that he was an inspiration to family, friends and those with whom he served. That night Chad and his family became heroes to all of us here at the USO. We are so honored to have spent time with the Regelins and our thoughts and prayers are with them now."
Regelin was assigned as an explosive ordnance disposal technician to Marine Special Operations Company Bravo and was stationed at Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3, San Diego, Calif.
For further details on the passing of Petty Officer Regelin, click over to coverage from his hometown paper, the Anderson Valley Post.
|From The Record Searchlight redding.com
Anderson sailor killed in Afghan blast
Local man had spoken to family hour before
By George L. Winship Anderson Valley Post
Posted January 3, 2012 at 11 p.m.
A 24-year-old Navy petty officer from Anderson has died in a bomb explosion in Afghanistan.
Chad R. Regelin was killed Monday, just an hour after he'd spoken to his family by telephone. His parents, Shirene and Scott Regelin of Anderson, were notified of his death shortly after 2 p.m.
"He called us while he was on watch," Regelin's 31-year-old brother, Justin, said Tuesday. "He was really upbeat because he had just gotten his orders to come back stateside on Feb. 15. He told us that he had about a week to go (in Kandahar) before they could helicopter in the replacement team."
After speaking to his family, Chad Regelin and his squad were sifting through a crater and debris from a recent explosion when the second roadside blast occurred, said his brother, who also lives in Anderson.
"He suffered some broken bones, but they believe he died from head injuries. They were able to airlift him out of there and he was conscious for about a half-hour before he died in a military hospital," Justin Regelin said.
Shirene Regelin expressed her grief in a Facebook posting Tuesday morning.
"My heart is absolutely breaking at this time," she wrote. "I wish someone could tell me it is not true. I don't think I will ever get the picture out of my mind of the four men standing at the door to give me the news. I just want him to come home and let me hug him. I honestly do not know how I am going to get through this."
Within minutes, family and friends were responding with condolences and offers of assistance.
Her son's body is expected to arrive home in the next five days. Arrangements are pending for a memorial service and burial at the Northern California Veterans Cemetery in Igo.
"Yesterday was pretty tough for the family," Justin Regelin said Tuesday. "I've been through a time of sadness. It's tough to lose your littlest brother. But he said he was at peace with what he was doing. That is what he loved to do."
USO Sailor of the Year for 2011, Chad Regelin was an explosive ordnance disposal technician with Mobile Unit Three in southern Afghanistan.
He was on his second tour of duty there when he died.
He was honored for heroic actions during his first tour, from August 2010 through March 2011, when he "personally located and destroyed 24 IEDs (improvised exploding devices), trained 13 commando engineers in counter-IED tactics and fought in more than 20 direct fire engagements," according to the USO's 70th anniversary banquet program for the October event in Washington, D.C.
Chad Regelin was in Afghanistan and unable to attend, but his parents, sister and one of two older brothers made the trip to the nation's capital.
A 2005 graduate of Anderson Union High School, he enlisted in the Navy in 2006.
While in high school, he helped launch the school's Surf Club and was named outstanding senior for the Anderson Cubs varsity football squad.
Chad Regelin was stationed at Naval Base San Diego.