Before joining the Army, Patrick S. Tainsh was known for surfing and skate boarding in California, but now his name hangs on a building like Gen. George S. Patton Jr. and other armored officers in Harmony Church.
The 5th Squadron, 15th Cavalry barracks at Fort Benning was named in honor of Sgt. Patrick S. Tainsh Tuesday during a 9 a.m. ceremony with more than 125 soldiers, family members and the Patriot Guard.
“It’s just very surreal, but it’s an honor that goes beyond words,” said his stepmother, Deborah Tainsh, who wrote a 200-page book about Patrick after he died Feb. 11, 2004 near Baghdad, Iraq. “Our son is out here among great names like Gen. George S. Patton Jr. You would have never thought that the young man who was a surfer dude, skate boarder and snow boarder would have found a desire in his life to become an exceptional armored cavalry soldier. As parents, there are just no words to express it.”
Patrick Tainsh, 33, was shot in the neck while serving as a gunner just west of Baghdad near Abu Ghraib prison, said his commander, Lt. Col. Stacey P. Corn. He was riding with Patrick when their Humvee was attacked by insurgents. Corn said he thought Patrick had slipped when he fell inside the gun turret.
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“I assumed he had stepped on some brass inside and slipped,” Corn said. “He stood back up and began to continue firing his weapon system. I heard the gun stop one more time. He changed ammuniton again and continued to fire a final time. That is when he dropped down inside the turret, tapped me on the shoulder and said I’ve been struck. He was inside the turret firing a good five to six minutes before he sought help from me. He tapped me on the shoulder.”
Corn described Patrick as a phenomenal non-commissioned officer, the best he’s had a chance to work with.
“He had the ability to read people. People were drawn to him,” said Corn, who traveled from Hohenfels, Germany, for the dedication. “They automatically followed Sgt. Tainsh.”