The Washington Post

Career Soldier Saw Army as His Calling

Sutton Remembered for Commitment to Service, Family

- By Mark Berman

Sgt. 1st Class Greg L. Sutton was a career soldier, following in the footsteps of his father, who had spent more than 20 years in the Army. The Army was his calling, family members said.

Sutton, 38, was killed June 6 in Baghdad by an improvised explosive device.

“He said it was something he had to do,” family friend Gabby Galloway told the Associated Press. “And he would do it again. He knew the risks. Everybody knows this: He would do it again.”

Yesterday, more than 80 mourners gathered to pay tribute to the devoted husband and father as he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Sutton was the 348th service member killed in Iraq to be buried there.

During the service, Sutton was honored with the customary three-shot volley fired by seven riflemen. Brig. Gen. Thomas Seamands presented Sutton’s wife, Joanne, and mother, Grace, with folded U.S. flags. The Suttons were married in 2005 and have two children, Cailee, 2, and Greg, 3.

Sutton was a native of Spring Lake, N.C., a small town just north of Fayettevil­le. He played football and ran track at Westover High School before graduating in 1987 and spent a couple of years in college before joining the Army.

Sutton was on his second tour of Iraq, serving as a fire support specialist, when he was killed. He was a member of the 212th Military Transition Team, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kan.

There was a funeral for Sutton on Friday at Fort Sill, Okla., where he had previously served as a casualty assistance officer.

Sutton’s nephew, Shaimal Sutton, told the Greenville, N.C., Daily Reflector, that his uncle left behind a legacy of the importance of discipline and hard work.

“You have to earn what you get,” Sutton, 20, recalled his uncle saying. “Put your education first.”

Greg Sutton was a stern believer in authority and also the life of the party, an aunt, Carolyn Ward, told the Reflector. Ward said the family is grieving but proud of his military success and commitment to his family.

Sutton joined the Army in February 1991 and became part of the 1st Infantry Division in November.

 ?? BY LOIS RAIMONDO — THE WASHINGTON POST ?? Greg Sutton, center, reaches for his mother, Joanne Sutton, at the burial of his father, Sgt. 1st Class Greg L. Sutton.
BY LOIS RAIMONDO — THE WASHINGTON POST Greg Sutton, center, reaches for his mother, Joanne Sutton, at the burial of his father, Sgt. 1st Class Greg L. Sutton.

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