August 12, 2013 marks the 10-year anniversary of the passing of Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr., a Counterintelligence Special Agent for the US army. He died due to medical complications following a 24-hour firefight in Hit, Iraq while deployed with the 323rd Military Intelligence Battalion.
Eaton was a highly decorated soldier with awards including the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Superior Unit Award, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and the Expert Marksmanship Badge with bars for rifle, pistol, and grenade. During his 18 years of Army service, he served tours in Korea, Honduras, Panama, and Iraq.
Eaton dedicated his career to the advancement of Counterintelligence and national security. Since his passing, his accomplishments have been honored by his family and colleagues. Eaton’s family established the SSG Richard S. Eaton, Jr. National Security Collection at the University of New Haven’s library in 2003 (http://www.newhaven.edu/library/SpecialCollections/Eaton/). Just last year, he was honored with a plaque at the US Army Reserve Center Memorial at Fort Meade.
In 2011, the Lint Center for National Security Studies announced an educational scholarship to be annually awarded in honor of this fallen soldier. This scholarship provides both financial and mentoring support to those who have chosen to follow in Eaton’s footsteps.
“I had the honor of serving with Rick both at home and abroad,” said James Lint, Chairman of the Lint Center for National Security Studies. “His exemplary achievements during his career are a testament to the character, conviction, and courage of those who continue to serve this nation – always out front. I owe Rick a debt of gratitude that only service members can understand and Counterintelligence specialists can appreciate; this country owes him the honor befitting his sacrifice. The Lint Center is committed to ensuring Rick’s deeds, personal example, and noble heroism are both honored and memorialized.”
“It has been ten years since he left us, but not a day goes by that doesn't fail to remind us of who he was, what he did, or what he meant to us. We continue to proudly remember his legacy of service and his many years of friendship.”
A special thank you goes out to the Eaton family for their long time support of the Lint Center’s mission to support the educational pursuits of America’s next generation of intelligence and national security workers.
To learn more about SSG Eaton's life and accomplishments, please visit the links below:
*This post was written by Jessica Crawford, a Lint Center volunteer.