2nd Lt. Scott Lundell Honored in

 West Valley, Laid to Rest in Benjamin

 

Written by Shad West

 

Published December 14, 2006

 

Download Printer-Friendly Version

       

 

2nd Lt. Scott Lundell served with I Corps Artillery in Afghanistan as a trainer for the Afghan National Army.

Photo courtesy of I Corps Artillery

2nd Lt. Scott Lundell served with I Corps Artillery in

Afghanistan as a trainer for the Afghan National Army.

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah 2nd Lt. Scott B. Lundell, 35, was buried at the Benjamin City Cemetery with full military honors Dec. 2 after services were held at a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel in West Valley City.

Nearly 600 people attended the funeral to say goodbye and to pay their last respects to the Utah National Guard Special Forces and Artillery Soldier. His sacrifice was a sorrowful reminder of the inevitable costs of war.

Services were also a chance for the community to show its gratitude. Many of those who turned out for the memorial had never even met Lundell, yet they felt it was important that his family realize they weren't alone.

Lundell leaves behind his wife and children. He and his wife first dated while attending Granger High School, and they married in 1993 after Lundell returned from serving a mission for the LDS Church in the Philippines. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Utah.

“He did not die doing what he loved—he died doing what he was passionate about,” said Clint Lamb, Lundell’s brother-in-law. “He knew without a doubt this is what he wanted to do. It was not easy for him to do—to leave his wife and children.”

That passion, family members said, stirred in Lundell ever since the terrorist attacks of 9-11. It took three years for Lundell to wrestle with the idea of joining the military. He struggled with what that choice would mean to his family. After discussing the career move with his wife, Lundell enlisted in the Utah National Guard in 2004 with the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

The Utah Army National Guard Honor Guard prepares to fold the flag to present to 2nd Lt. Lundell's family.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

The Utah Army National Guard Honor Guard prepares

to fold the flag to present to 2nd Lt. Lundell's family.

Relishing in his new career, Lundell quickly rose through the ranks. He graduated from Officer Candidate School in 2005 and Engineer Officer Basic Course in 2006. Upon his return from training he volunteered for duty in Afghanistan and transferred to I Corps Artillery.

2nd Lt. Chad Pledger, who served with Lundell overseas, spoke “with a humble and wounded heart” and described the man he had come to know in just a few short months.

“When I first met Scott I could see the fire that burned inside him. His motto was practice makes perfect,” said Pledger. “Not many people could keep up with his pace. His standards were always high. Scott will always be remembered as a warrior on the battlefield.”

“Scott was tremendous; he was a leader of men. He is a perfect example of selfless service. Above all, he was a dedicated husband and father,” Pledger added.

The Utah Army National Guard Honor Guard fires the ceremonial volleys in tribute to 2nd Lt. Lundell.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

The Utah Army National Guard Honor Guard fires

the ceremonial volleys in tribute to 2nd Lt. Lundell.

Another fellow Soldier, 1st Lt. Tyler Jensen, recalled the circumstances and the depth of character that led Lundell to pay the ultimate price to save others.

“The day he was killed he was leading a group of more than 100 Afghans,” Jensen said. “It was his first firefight and it lasted more than four hours. Scott was only concerned with getting his men back home safely. That was the type of man Scott was.”  

Jensen said that he and Lundell would often go on training hikes together, which allowed them to get better acquainted.

“Scott would say that the best way to tell a man’s character is to throw an 80-pound ruck sack on his back and run with it. It was during those long marches that I got to know him. He was a fearless and courageous leader,” said Jensen.

An honor guard from West Valley City police prepares to escort the funeral cortege from the chapel to the Benjamin cemetery.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

An honor guard from West Valley City police prepares to escort

the funeral cortege from the chapel to the Benjamin cemetery.

“Within the four short months that he served in Afghanistan Scott was loved by the Soldiers he served with,” Jensen concluded. “He was respected by both American and Coalition Soldiers. They loved Scott and many looked up to him. Scott gave everything so we could be free.”

Against the advice of family and friends, Lundell’s wife Jeanine also spoke at the funeral and recounted their life together, his decision to join the military and the faith they shared.

“He didn't have to go, he chose to go,” said Jeanine. “He felt very strongly about what he signed up to do in the United States Army. He was determined to do it. It was an opportunity for him to share the gospel with many people.”

“Together, we had an incredible relationship on this earth,” she said. “And the glory of it all is the happily ever after. I will miss him more than words can express."

She knew they would be together again.

A lone Vietnam veteran stands guard outside the chapel in West Valley in tribute to the service and sacrifice of 2nd Lt. Scott Lundell.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

A lone Vietnam veteran stands guard outside the chapel in West Valley in tribute to the service and sacrifice of 2nd Lt. Scott Lundell.

A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter from the 1-211th Aviation Battalion flies over the final resting place of 2nd Lt. Scott Lundell.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter from the 1-211th Aviation

Battalion flies over the final resting place of 2nd Lt. Scott Lundell.