SCOTT C. “BIG SARGE” GARRETT
Patriot, Chapter 1919
was born in Macon,
in 1970. When he was a small
child his family moved to Pensacola, Florida and he grew up there and attended
public schools. He graduated
from Washington High School
with the Class of 1989, and went on to attend Florida State
University until 1992.
He then was employed by GEICO Insurance for a number of years, but
got to doing some serious thinking about career choices.
Scott was attracted to the military, in part by the experiences of
his father and grandfather both of whom had served as NCO’s in the Air
Force. He enlisted in the Army.
It took some doing, Scott is a big man, six foot six, and that
required waivers, but he entered service February 13, 2001.
Later, when he had advanced in rank he quite understandably acquired
the nickname, “big sarge.”
He went through basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky and
advanced individual training at
Fort Lee, Virginia.
In September 2001 he arrived at Fort Hood, Texas
and was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division.
The 1st Cavalry Division was deployed to
for Operation Iraqi Freedom II.
Scott and Company B, 2-7 Cavalry made the move in March 2004.
They staged through Kuwait, spending a few days at Camp New York,
then made the two-day road convoy into Iraq
and finally arrived at their new home base, Camp
Cooke, north of
on the Tigris River.
They engaged in a variety of missions that were either humanitarian
support for the local populace, or combat type operations to track down and
eliminate terrorists or any other anti-coalition forces in their area of
About the time of the 1st Cavalry Division’s arrival in 2004, the
anti-American Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr was creating great difficulties
with his al-Mahdi Army, particularly in
Basra and Sadr City.
In July, Scott’s battalion was sent to Camp Duke,
the Marine Corps Forward Operating Base on the outskirts of Sadr City
and placed in support of the 1st Marine Division.
By this time, al-Sadr was doing his worst against the government and
especially against U.S. troops and as a result, all the
missions were tactical combat type operations. After several weeks, Scott’s
unit was sent to Camp David, a smaller base
set up on the site of a college where they were subjected to daily
demonstrations by hostile Shiite protesters.
was part of a small element that had returned to Camp Cooke
to support Army units there, although the main part of the cavalry battalion
remained at the forward operating bases in support of the 1st Marine
Division. He was wounded when
on an operational mission from
September 5, 2004
was driving an up-armored HUMMV “gun truck”, part of the security element
for a team that had been sent to recover a disabled vehicle from just beyond
a village that was on the road a few miles from Camp Cooke.
The M-88 track recovery vehicle had secured the disabled vehicle and
the little convoy started on its way back to base.
As they entered the village on the return trip, Scott’s HUMMV was hit
by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
Only the lieutenant in the vehicle, on the side away from the blast,
was uninjured. The gunner
lost an arm and Scott was also badly wounded, although he was unconscious at
the time and can only relate what he was told about it later.
When he first regained consciousness, he was in the hospital in Balad with
badly damaged vertebrae in his neck and back and with traumatic brain
injury. Within hours he was on
a medevac plane to Landstuhl
Center in Germany. From there he was sent to Walter Reed Army Medical
Center in Washington, D.C.
After their long flight home from Europe, Scott says the planeload of casualties was quiet
and subdued, but then they were met by a group of local ladies.
Those women greeted each one of them with a hug and thanks for
serving in the military, and with a little personal lap quilt.
It was unexpected and was a very moving experience, lifting the
spirits of everyone. Scott remembers that as a tremendously good thing those
ladies were doing for the wounded returnees and says he will keep that lap
quilt forever as part of that treasured memory.
A month and a half after being wounded in
Iraq, Scott had undergone treatment while being moved
through Balad, Landstuhl, and Walter Reed, and was in rehab and therapy at
Darnell Army Medical
Center back at his home station at Fort Hood, Texas.
By late January 2005, he was an outpatient sent back to limited duty.
The Central Texas Chapter 1876 made contact with him, as they try to do with
all the returning combat wounded soldiers at
Fort Hood, and Scott signed up.
When the Purple
was to be dedicated at the
Cemetery in June 2005,
Chapter Commander, Marty Martinez, asked Patriot Scott Garrett to share in
the duties of unveiling the stone and Scott was proud to have been so
At best, Scott could handle paperwork at a desk job, however, with several
crushed vertebrates his disabilities were permanent and it was obvious that
he would never again be able to resume an active soldiers’ life.
A medical board ruled on his case and he was discharged from the Army
in January 2006.
In recent months Scott took employment in the local area and then moved his
family here. He transferred his
membership in the Military Order of the Purple Heart to Chapter 1919 in
January of this year, and this month PATRIOT BULLETIN proudly salutes
Patriot Scott “Big Sarge” Garrett.