Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Family tree rooted in military service

(U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Golembesky)
CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. — Scott “Scooter” Deeds, 721st Security Forces Squadron Plans and Programs chief, holds a framed picture of his son’s boot camp graduation photo alongside his own photo from 1978. The Deeds family has a long line of military service stretching from the Civil War to today’s current operations. Deeds’ son, Lance Cpl. Roger Deeds, was killed while serving in Iraq with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2005 and was the first member of their family to die in service.

By Michael Golembesky

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. — From the Civil War battlefields to modern day clearing operations in Iraq, the Deeds family has a long tradition of military service that is rooted deep in American history.

When it comes to recalling his family history, Scott “Scooter” Deeds, 721st Security Forces Squadron Plans and Programs chief at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, has details and stories that would capture the attention of any military history buff.

“We have got a tremendous amount of history in military service that (my family) had never really pieced together,” said Deeds.

Deeds served in security forces and retired from the Air Force in 1998. When he retired, his father William Deeds gave him a family heirloom as a gift. It was a small, worn and tattered New Testament Bible from a tiny church in Little River, Kan., that Deeds’ grandfather, Frank Elijah Deeds Sr., had carried with him in Europe during World War I.

During World War II, another Deeds family member, Frank Elijah Deeds Jr., was saved by a similar small Bible that he carried in his pocket.

“He was carrying the Bible in his left breast pocket, got shot and he went down. They assumed he was dead because he wasn’t moving,” Deeds said. But the bullet had struck the Bible and knocked him unconscious.

“He regained consciousness, got up and went on about his business,” Deeds said.

Deed’s son Roger carried on the legacy of military service when he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2003.

“9/11 shook-up a lot of people, and when we moved into full on war he really wanted to do his part. He wanted to be involved,” Deeds said about his sons’ motivation for joining the military.

The Deeds family has had a family member serve in every major conflict since the Civil War, but miraculously they have only lost one family member in combat.

“I was very guarded initially about him going into the Corps, knowing we are already at war and I knew he would be on the front line. When I watched him march across the parade deck at Parris Island I could see how proud he was,” he said.

In 2004, on his first deployment to Iraq in the battle of Fallujah, Lance Cpl. Roger Deeds was wounded when his convoy was hit by a road side bomb. His Humvee was the third vehicle in the convoy when the first two vehicles were destroyed killing some of his fellow Marines.

“I look at my great-grandfather; they didn’t have a choice, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam. None of them had a choice but they all served because they felt they needed to give back, they needed to protect the United States,” he said. “I look at our young people nowadays, my nephews, my nieces, my son, those serving in my unit, the Air force and our sister services. They are choosing to do this freely, that says a lot about our young people,” he added.

On Nov. 16, 2005, Lance Cpl. Deeds was killed by sniper fire as he was providing medical care to a wounded Marine during Operation Steel Curtain in the town of New Ubaydi, Iraq. He was assigned to Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

“Would I change anything? No, no I wouldn’t,” Deeds said. “He died doing exactly what he wanted to do, carrying on the legacy.”

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