FORT DRUM The post community came together to remember two soldiers killed in May in Afghanistan.
Recognized at the memorial ceremony were 2nd Lt. David E. Rylander, 23, of Stow, Ohio, and Spc. Junot M.L. Cochilus, 34, of Charlotte, N.C. The two were killed May 2 in Logar Province, Afghanistan, when the vehicle they were riding in was hit by an improvised explosive device. The two engineers served in the 630th Engineer Company, 7th Engineer Battalion.
Capt. Benjamin C. Dowell, the battalions operations officer, said Lt. Rylander was only days away from becoming a platoon leader. Capt. Dowell added that his fellow officer had a large sense of humility and an eagerness to learn, two skills that would have served him well in the new role.
From day one he established himself as a leader, Capt. Dowell said.
Lt. Rylander joined the Army in May 2011, after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point. He had become an Eagle Scout in 2005.
In attendance at the memorial were Lt. Rylanders parents, John and Jackie, along with his sister, Sarah, and two brothers, Daniel and Stephen.
Spc. Cochilus was described as a man of faith, who had served as a missionary and whose family operated an orphanage in their native Haiti.
He was an outstanding worker, and an even better friend, said Sgt. Evan J. Lourie, a team leader for the 630th Engineer Company.
Spc. Cochilus, who joined the Army in March 2010, is survived by his wife, Marie Maude-Nester, and daughter, Everly Cochilus, along with his parents and stepmother, who all reside in Haiti.
Col. Christopher D. Latchford, the 10th Sustainment Brigades rear detachment commander, said the two soldiers families should be incredibly proud of their service.
These brave men knew courage, for they put their country above their own lives, he said.