Friday, February 23, 2018

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SFC David L. McDowell
from Ramona, Califronia

SFC McDowell served with: 2_75_Ranger_Bn

Born in 1978, Ranger McDowell was 30 years old at the time of his death in 2008.

Complete biography is below the photo gallery
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SFC David L. McDowell 's Biography

An Army Ranger Sergeant First Class, he was killed April 29 in a firefight with Taliban forces in Bastion in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province, southwest of Kabul. McDowell, 30, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Ft. Lewis, Wash. He was serving his seventh deployment in Iraq or Afghanistan.

During his military service, SFC David L. McDowell also served in Regimental Training Detachment

Sergeant 1st Class David L. McDowell, 30, was wounded by enemy fire while conducting combat operations and later died on April 29, 2008 near Bastion, Afghanistan.

He was a platoon sergeant assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Lewis, Wash. He was born in Hawaii on Oct. 17, 1977.

McDowell was serving in his seventh combat deployment. His
previous deployments were to Afghanistan and Iraq.

After graduating from Poway High School in Poway, Calif.,
McDowell enlisted in the Army from his hometown of Ramona in
July 1996. He completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning,
Ga., as an infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne
Course there, he was assigned to the Ranger Indoctrination Program also at Fort Benning.

He graduated from the Ranger Indoctrination Program in November 1996 and was then assigned to 2nd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment in December 1996. He served there as an automatic rifleman, machine gun team leader, fire team leader, rifle squad leader, and weapons squad leader.

In 2005, he was assigned to the Regimental Training Detachment as a pre-Ranger Course instructor at Fort Benning.

Following that assignment, McDowell returned to 2nd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment as a platoon sergeant in 2006.

His military education includes Basic Airborne Course, Nuclear Hazards Course, Ranger Course, Warrior Leader Course, Jumpmaster Course, Combat Lifesaver Course, Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, and the Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course.

McDowell’s awards and decorations include Bronze Star Medal with Valor device, Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Army Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters, three Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan
Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, three NCO Professional Development Ribbons, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, and the Ranger Tab.

He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal with Valor device and Meritorious Service Medal.

He is survived by his wife Joleen, son Joshua and daughter Erin of Lakewood, Wash., his mother Laurie Ann Wathen of Julian, Calif., and father Steven L. McDowell of Hope Mills, N.C.

As a Ranger, Sgt. 1 st Class David L. McDowell distinguished himself as a member of the Army’s premier light infantry unit, traveled to all corners of the world in support of the Global War on
Terrorism, and fought valiantly to uphold the prestige, honor, and high ‘esprit de corps’ of the Ranger Regiment.

Rangers Lead the Way!
U.S. Army
David L. McDowell knew at an early age what he wanted to be: an Army man just like his father.
He started playing Army when he was 3 years old and he kept doing it, said his mother, Laurie Wathen. We kind of thought he’d grow out of it, but he never did. He had his whole life planned out.
McDowell enlisted while he was a senior at Poway High School in San Diego County. He graduated in June 1996 and was in uniform that July 1.

An Army Ranger Sergeant First Class, he was killed April 29 in a firefight with Taliban forces in Bastion in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province, southwest of Kabul. McDowell, 30, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Ft. Lewis, Wash. He was serving his seventh deployment in Iraq or Afghanistan.

He always looked up to my dad, said his sister Michele DeLay. They shared a special bond. He thought my dad was the coolest person in the world. At 30, he was just like my dad in every way.
Steven McDowell, who lives in North Carolina, had made a career in the Army, serving in the 82nd Airborne Division. When David was a boy, his father regaled him with tales of adventure and introduced him to his comrades.

It made a powerful impression. It became this overpowering thing in his life, his mother said. It’s all he focused on. He drove friends crazy because [the Army] was all he wanted to talk about.
David McDowell was born Oct. 17, 1977, in Honolulu. He grew up in North Carolina, South Carolina and Italy. When his father retired, the family moved to the San Diego County town of Ramona. An avid surfer and skateboarder, McDowell had an unbridled curiosity and a sharp sense of humor, family members said.

A platoon sergeant with the elite Rangers, he initially rode the bench on his high school football team because he didn’t like the bruising contact on the field. He didn’t want to hurt his teammates, said his mother, who lives in Julian, east of Ramona. He wasn’t a fighter. He just wanted to have fun.
McDowell became a fighter but never lost his sensitive side, his sister said. Seeing combat brought it out even more.

DeLay recalled talking to her brother after his first deployment. He wasn’t the same. He was more emotional, she said. He lost people there. It humbled him. I could see something in his eyes that he had changed. It was the first time she had ever seen him cry.
McDowell is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife, Joleen; a son, Joshua, 12; and a daughter, Erin, 3, all of Lakewood, Wash.

He was posthumously awarded a second Bronze Star for valor one of the military’s highest honors and a Purple Heart.


DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sgt. 1st Class David L. McDowell, 30, of Ramona, Calif., died April 29 in Bastion, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked using small arms fire. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Lewis, Wash.
Becoming part of the Army’s elite Ranger team had always been a dream for David McDowell. That dream ended this week, when McDowell, who was on his seventh deployment to the war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, died during an enemy attack.
From his earliest days, David McDowell dreamed of following his father’s footsteps and joining the Army, recalls his sister Becky McDowell.

"It was always Army from the time he could walk and talk," she said. "If you weren't talking about the Army, forget it. He didn't want to talk to you."
David McDowell would want to be remembered wearing his Ranger beret, Becky McDowell said.

"I'd always tell him how proud I was of him – that is what big sisters are for," Becky McDowell said. "He was a true American hero. He took care of his family and he took care of his country."

The youngest of three children, McDowell enlisted in the service shortly after graduating from Poway High School in 1996. Although his athletic and scholarly abilities could have taken him in other directions, McDowell was determined to follow his dream, says longtime friend, Jesse Carlson.

"He was more into becoming an Army Ranger," said Carlson, who noted that McDowell was doing military-style endurance training well before he officially joined the service.
"He worked harder than anybody I've ever known at making his goals happen," Carlson said.

"It's very unique to find someone with that kind of conviction," Carlson said. "You can't help but respect the guy and feel about as proud as you possibly can that he's your friend."

During his 12-year Army career, McDowell was the recipient of numerous awards, including two Bronze Stars with valor devices and a Purple Heart.
McDowell is survived by his wife, Joleen; son, Joshua, 11; daughter, Erin, 3; mother, Laurie Wathen of Julian; father, Steven McDowell of North Carolina; and sisters, Becky McDowell of Poway and Michele Delay of North Carolina.


11 memories of David L. McDowell

I didnt know SFC McDowell had passed until I was checking this list.
Just let his family know that he was brave and a Great Leader!
I will see you one day Ranger and when I do, We will make that last jump together!
Rangers Lead the Way!
Ranger 1, December 29, 2008 at 3:11 p.m.

I didn't know or serve with you 2nd bat. brother, but I shed a tear today for your incredible service (7combat tours!!!), and ultimate sacrifice. What you gave is incomparable. RLTW
Gavin Grayson, May 31, 2010 at 5:50 p.m.

I just wanted to let you know that you will NEVER be forgotten. Your leadership and the lessons that you taught will be with me (and others that you led on the field of battle) forever. "One for the Airborne Ranger in the Sky"!!!
PV4 Evans, June 9, 2010 at 12:50 p.m.

Miss you buddy, so very proud t be your Father and to know you as a brother! Dad
Steve McDowell, November 22, 2010 at 4:49 p.m.

Miss you baby brother! You will forever be our Hero and will never be forgotten! Becky
Becky, December 20, 2010 at 10:15 a.m.

From crushing me as my pre ranger cadre, to spending time holed up in a Stryker. I will never forget you as a brother, mentor and leader. I still pray for your family, and remember daily. RLTW
-Chase, April 26, 2011 at 3:34 p.m.

Dave, You really inspired me to be a better leader of men based on your example. You were a man who gave so much for so few and will always be remembered for that. You are my Airborne Ranger in the Sky! RLTW!
Chad H., April 28, 2011 at 9:10 a.m.

Well, it would've been Iraq judging by his Combats, then again could be Afghanistan due to he was SOCOM 75th Rangers Regiment @Description of this Warrior.
Well, I honestly did not know this man, but however, he's done great service for The United States, good man,
He was a Warrior, Hero, and a Born Fighter, that being said, you have my respect sir.
Your an amazing figure.
Rest peacefully. I will never forget this moment.
Dimitri J. VanWieren, February 26, 2014 at 11 p.m.

The best memory I have of Dave was when he came back from Ranger School. He had bought a Cadre sweat top and the name was "SFC Fatlegg". Always an expert at his craft and brought a smile to my face. You will always be missed, until I see you again in the halls of Valla.
Cco Ranger , April 27, 2015 at 9:34 p.m.

An absolute subject matter expert. Dave lead from the front and always a natural inspiration to his men. I still carry the 1C Mad Slasher (Platoon patch ) that he created and even sewn the velcrow on in my wallet every day. When ever we had an issue weather it be a personal issue or a problem with a weapons system he fixed it and in joking said " I'm all that is man"! You will always be missed Dave. I am thankful to have served with you. RLTW
Sam Wentzel, April 29, 2015 at 9:19 p.m.

One of my favorite memories is going through jumpmaster with Dave who always wrote things on his t-shirt like "this side toward enemy" on the front, and "back blast area clear" on the back.
He always brought laughter and joy to even the most stressful of times.
Joshua Gamboa, April 30, 2015 at 9:51 a.m.


The video shown below is about Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, where SFC McDowell was killed.
It shows mostly British troops, not Rangers, but it does provide some context regarding the place, the people, and the action.


# Robert Munyan 2017-05-29 10:18
Just remembering you today. RTLW
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