SSG. ORION N. SPARKS - U.S. Army
Hometown / City: Tucson, AZ
Date of Death: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Conflict: Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)
Branch: U.S. Army
Rank: Staff Sgt.
Unit: 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team
Post / Base: Schweinfurt, Germany
Death: Sep. 26, 2012, Afghanistan
Staff Sgt. Orion N. Sparks, 29, of Tucson, Ariz., died Sept. 26, in Pul-E Alam, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when an insurgent wearing a suicide vest detonated the device near their patrol. These Soldiers were assigned to the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Schweinfurt, Germany.
Statement by Governor Jan Brewer
My heart aches as we learn that an Arizona soldier this week lost his life in the line of duty. Army Staff Sgt. Orion N. Sparks, 29, of Tucson, was killed Wednesday in Logar Province, Afghanistan, when an insurgent wearing a suicide vest detonated the device near Staff Sgt. Sparks' dismounted patrol. A second American serviceman was also killed in the attack: Sgt. Jonathan A. Gollnitz, 28, of Lakehurst, N.J.
Staff Sgt. Sparks was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, and based in Schweinfurt, Germany. Please join me in extending Arizona's sincerest condolences and prayers for the families and loved ones of both Staff Sgt. Sparks and Sgt. Gollnitz.
As always, let us keep close to our hearts each of the uniformed men and women who defend our Nation on American soil and abroad. We can never repay these heroes for their service and sacrifice. May we offer our deepest gratitude and respect so that they always feel our heartfelt appreciation for all that they do to keep us safe and our Nation free.
In honor of Arizona's fallen hero - Staff Sgt. Orion N. Sparks - I have ordered that flags at all State buildings be flown at half-staff today, September 28, from sunrise to sunset. State flags will again be lowered on the day of his interment, for which services are pending."
Funeral services are set for Staff Sgt. Sparks. Sparks is to be laid to rest at noon Saturday at Mountain View Funeral Home, 4100 Steilacoom Blvd. SW. Lakewood. Survivors are his father Garry (Jane) Sparks of Tucson, AZ, mother Jan Hurnblad Sparks, brothers Erik (Linnzi) Sparks and Zachary Sparks, and nephew Alexander of Gig Harbor, WA. Please send donations in memory of Orion to the USO or Franciscan Hospice.
Mountain View Memorial Park
Lakewood (Pierce County)