Based: Ft. Richardson, Alaska
3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: July 22, 2007
High School: Vanden High (Fairfield)
Burial: Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, Dixon, Calif
At 17, he enlisted in the Army and found more thrills as a paratrooper, throwing himself out of airplanes and flying in helicopters.
The night before his first parachute jump, he called his mother, Laura Gillis, at her home in Dixon, Calif.
"He said, 'Mama, I'm going to call you on my cellphone on the way down,' " she recalled. "I said, 'Oh, my gosh! You call me when you're safe and back on the ground.' "
The jump went off without a hitch -- and he didn't call while in free fall.
"He was just incredible," said his mother. "He never had any fear in his life."
In mid-July, Adams was nine months into his first tour in Iraq. He called his mother to say that he was holed up in a military base south of Baghdad. While fellow soldiers enjoyed the respite from fighting, finally able to shower and relax, the 21-year-old Army Ranger longed for action.
"He was bored and he wanted to do a job, go out on a mission and do what he was trained to do," she said.
It was the last time they talked. Adams was killed July 22 after an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle while he was on patrol near Owaset. The date marked his first wedding anniversary.
Be sure to read the whole story Army Sgt. Shawn G. Adams in the LA Times here, and more here. And visit Army Sergeant Shawn G. Adams' Guest Book here.
Shawn Adams is survived by his wife, Wilhelmina Elizabeth Adams (Beth) of Anchorage, Alaska; his mother and stepfather, Laura and Robert Gills of Dixon; his father and stepmother, Darcy and Gaye Adams of Vacaville; three sisters, Lacy and Samantha of Dixon and Mary of Vacaville; grandparents, Jim and Gloria Paisley, Mike and Beatrice Bruno, Robert C. Gillis Sr. and Marijo Gillis.
Army Sergeant Shawn G. Adams previously remembered at Boom3 on Thursday, July 22, 2010.
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