Today is Sean Diamond's birthday, but instead of a birthday celebration there will be a memorial service for this precious hero.
Staff Sgt. Sean D. Diamond, 41, of Dublin, Calif., died Feb. 15 in As Salam, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. He was assigned to the 610th Engineer Support Company, 14th Engineer Battalion, 555th Engineer Brigade, Fort Lewis, Wash.
A soldier, husband and father of four from Dublin was killed [Sunday] in Iraq when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle, defense officials reported Tuesday.
Staff Sgt. Sean Diamond, a 41-year-old heavy construction equipment operator on his third tour in Iraq, was due home next month for a break before he was killed in As-Salam, said his mother Sally Wiley, a former Danville,CA resident who now lives in Gardnerville, Nev.
Diamond had left the military in 1987, then rejoined the Army in 2000. He was stationed in Germany when the Iraq War started. Diamond volunteered to go, his mother said, then re-upped for a second tour. When his unit broke up, he was assigned to the 610th Engineer Support Company, 14th Engineer Battalion, 555th Engineer Brigade out of Fort Lewis, Wash. The unit deployed to Iraq last March.
"When I saw him before he left last year I thought, 'Aren't you a little old to be going there?' But he had a lot of young guys that had never been there. He didn't want to turn them loose over there," Wiley said.
He was with engineering and we thought he wouldn't get hurt," Wiley said.
The battalion was building a rifle range in As-Salam in southern Iraq and traveled along a road checked daily for IEDs, she said.
"He was in the second Humvee, and their third day on the road, they hit one (IED) that blew up right under his feet," she said. "He was the only one hit. Everyone else just got scratches.
"You always ask, 'Why him?'"
"I'm sorrowful and sad, and so proud. That was his choice and his desire. The only thing he hated was he was away from his family. He loved his family and his wife beyond anything."
Diamond leaves behind his wife, Loramay, and their four children, ages five to 13.
He loved his family more than anything in the world," his mother said. "He wrote letters to each of his children individually and he called them regularly."
"You won't see a picture his whole life he wasn't smiling," his mother said.
Wiley and Barbara Clark, also of Gardnerville, are active members of the Sierra Nevada Blue Star Mothers. Wiley called Clark after Army officials said they were coming to visit. A handful of Blue Star Mothers went to Wiley's house to offer support.
"It was very painful for all of us," Clark said. "We've done a number of ceremonies, but this is the first time we've lost from the inside. There is a lot of numbness in the group right now."
An identical twin born on St. Patrick's Day, Diamond grew up in Oakland and Berkeley before moving to Newport Beach, Florida, then Colorado, where he graduated from high school and attended a year of college before first joining the military, said his stepfather, Michael Wiley. After leaving the service, Diamond attended flight school in Oakland for a while but soon returned to the Army.
Among several honors that he earned in Iraq was the Bronze Star Medal, awarded for bravery or meritorious achievement.
Diamond was scheduled to return to the states on Feb. 27 to celebrate his 42nd birthday on March 17 in Dublin with family, said Ruth Villar sister of Diamond's wife, Loramay Diamond, 36.
The family chatted with Diamond via video hookup within the last couple of weeks.
"He was a great father ... his kids were his life," Villar said.
One of Diamond's other passions was flying, according to Villar. For several years he had been studying to obtain a pilot's license.
Diamond was on his third tour as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom; all told he spent about five years there, Villar told The Chronicle in a phone interview from Fort Lewis.
"When he would come home, he hoped he wouldn't have to be deployed again, but he viewed it as his job," she said. "It's what he had to do."
She described Diamond as "a man with vibrant blue eyes and a smile that could light up a room."
She said Diamond was a devoted family man who missed the birth of his fouth child because he was in Iraq.
His mother said Diamond kept returning to Iraq becaue he felt a responsibility to help guide all the young people serving over there.
Villar remembered him as a devoted family man whose love for his wife, Loramay Diamond, never faltered.
"He will always be a hero to his family and loved ones," Villar said.
The sergeant's wife Loramay, and their children, Taylor, 5; Madison, 8; Sean Riley, 9; and Athena, 13 live at Fort Lewis.
Services will be in Livermore, Calif., where most of his wife's family lives,
"We try to prepare ourselves for this, but it's different when it really happens to you," Wiley said. "He loved his country and he loved his family."
A memorial service is planned in Gardnerville on March 17, on what would have been her son's 42nd birthday, she said.
Sean Diamond is survived by his mother,Sally and stepfather, Michael; wife Loramay and their four children, Taylor, Madison, Sean Riley and Athena; his twin brother Michael; brother Jason, and father Jerry...(courtesy Living Legend team Soldiers' Angels)
Snapshots tell story of fallen soldier’s life
Please take the time to follow the links and spend some time with Sean and his family. I TRULY believe that love NEVER dies. It is my promise to always honour our fallen, and to NEVER forget them or their families.
Rest in Peace, Sean, oh Noble Warrior. You ARE one of the chosen ones.