|Birth: ||Apr. 28, 1966|
|Death: ||May 24, 2010, Iraq|
Major Ronald Wayne Culver, Jr.
EL DORADO, AR. - Major Ronald "Wayne" Culver Jr., age 44, of El Dorado, Arkansas, was killed on May 24th 2010 near Numaniyah in southern Iraq when an Improvised Explosive Device struck his vehicle. Major Culver was second in charge as the Executive Officer of the Louisiana Army National Guard's Shreveport-based 2nd Squadron of the 108th Cavalry Regiment, assigned to the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team mobilized on January 5th, 2010 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. This deployment was Culver's second to Iraq with the 256th Brigade. The mission for this deployment is to conduct force protection and convoy security throughout the multi-national coalition during the responsible draw down of U.S. Forces in Iraq. Popularly regarded as a "Soldier's Soldier", Major Culver never asked his troops to do anything he would not do himself. When struck by the Improvised Explosive Device he was leading his troops back to base after a successful three-day mission.
"Wayne", as his friends knew him, was born April 28th, 1966, the son of Ronald W. Culver Sr. and Betty Culver, both of Shreveport, Louisiana and was a brother to Shane Culver of Haughton, Louisiana. Wayne graduated from Northwood High School in Shreveport, LA in 1984. Throughout High School he played baseball, was member in his church's youth group, and was an active member in the Boy Scouts where he achieved the highest rank of Eagle Scout. Wayne joined the military in 1988 and graduated from LSUS in 1989 with a Bachelors Degree in Accounting. Major Culver served a majority of his 22-year career with 1-156th Armor Battalion and 2-108th Cavalry Squadron in Fort Humbug in Shreveport, LA. He served one tour during Desert Storm in 1990-91 and two tours in Iraq from 2004-05 and again in 2010. Wayne also responded numerous times for State emergencies to include Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, and Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008. Wayne was promoted to Major on August 28th, 2006.
Wayne was very active in his community. Before his latest deployment, he was employed by AmerCable as the Accounting Supervisor. Wayne's Selfless sense of community ensured the continued growth of top-notch youth organizations in El Dorado such as the Boy Scouts of America, Camp Fire Girls, and the 4H club and is a testament of his devotion to his children. His commitment to El Dorado's "Main Street" initiatives and the Veterans of Foreign Wars' service programs for the community directly helped to preserve the rich character and history that makes El Dorado so treasured and unique.
Wayne always wanted to be involved in his children's lives; they meant the world to him. Wayne loved taking his son and daughter camping and deer hunting and teaching them the rules of gun safety and marksmanship. He also taught them how to respect nature and animals. Wayne enjoyed showing Wayne Jr. the fellowship amongst his deer hunting buddies while at deer camp. This is where Wayne taught Wayne Jr. to play cards and to listen to his elders. He attended all of Wayne Jr.'s football games and would always assist the coach. Wayne loved taking Michelle to campfire formal dances when she was younger to let her know how special she was. He also enjoyed watching Michelle perform drama shows at Southern Arkansas Arts Center and at her high school.
Wayne wanted to instill respect and discipline in his children, so he and the two children enrolled in Tae Kwon Do. Wayne and his children were moving up in ranks and their goal was to become a black belt. During their training, Wayne was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004, and he asked the children to continue during the deployment. Michelle and Wayne Jr. honored their father's wishes and earned their black belts.
Wayne also shared his love for NASCAR with his family. He enjoyed going on his "guys only" trips for the fellowship with his buddies but he also wanted his children to experience the thrill of NASCAR races so he packed his family up and took them to the NASCAR race in Dallas. The children had a great time and loved it while Tracey had to wear earplugs. Wayne also wanted to share his love for music by taking his wife and the children to concerts. He encouraged his son to play guitar and wanted him to learn the long version of the Star Spangled Banner. He was a strong family man and believed that his family and extended family should spend as much time together as possible.
Wayne is survived by his wife, Tracey Culver, and two children, Michelle Francis Culver, 15, and Ronald Wayne Culver III, 13; his mother, Betty Culver; his father and his wife, Ronnie and Billie Jo Culver; his brother and his wife, Shane and Lauren Culver, their children, Solon, Hudson, and Landry; Tracey's father, Michael Quinlan; Tracey's mother, Sherry Quinlan, Tracey's sister and her husband, Christina and Darrell Thornbrugh, their children, Caitlin and Justin; Tracey's sister, Elizabeth Quinlan, and her daughter, Tamara; and Tracey's Aunt, Sandra Whistler.
Tracey Culver is the kindergarten and day care director for the First United Methodist Church of El Dorado where she finds comfort with her assistant's, co-workers, and church members. Wayne Jr. attends Barton Junior High School and Michelle attends El Dorado High School.
Major Culver received numerous military honors and awards during his 22 years in the Guard, including the Combat Action Badge, the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with one silver oak leaf cluster, the National Defense Service Medal with campaign star, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with "M" Device, numeral three and bronze hourglass, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Louisiana War Cross with two fleur-de-lis, the Louisiana Cross of Merit, the Louisiana Commendation Medal, the Louisiana Emergency Service Medal with one fleur-de-lis, and the Louisiana Longevity Ribbon with three fleur-de-lis. Major Culver also was a member of the Order of Saint George and recipient of the Order of Saint George Medallion, which is the top award given to the most deserving of members of the Army's mounted force by the United States Armor Association and the United States Army.
Visitation will be held from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm on May 31st, 2010 at Young's Funeral Directors of Distinction located at 508 Champagnolle Road, El Dorado, Arkansas. Funeral services will start at 9:00 am on June 1st, 2010 at the El Dorado Municipal Auditorium located at 100 West 8th Street in El Dorado. Graveside service will be conducted at approximately 1:30 pm on June 1st, 2010 at Hillcrest Cemetery located at 601 Highway 80, Haughton, Louisiana.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to a trust fund set up for Wayne's children. The trust fund is named The Major Wayne Culver Trust Fund and is located at Simmons First Bank of El Dorado at www.simmonsfirst.com or at 870-862-8161.
An online guest book is available at www.youngsfuneralhome.com. Young's Funeral Directors
El Dorado, AR 870-863-7121
Executive officer with the Shreveport-based 2/108th Cavalry Squadron of the Louisiana Army National Guard. Killed in an IED attack in Iraq.
Shreveport National Guard officer killed in Iraq
Death marks second area soldier killed in less than a week
By John Andrew Prime
The executive officer with the Shreveport-based 2/108th Cavalry Squadron has been killed in Iraq, the Army National Guard says.
Maj. Ronald Wayne Culver Jr., 44, of El Dorado, Ark., was killed Monday when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb, said Lt. Col. David Peterson, a liaison between the National Guard and the Culver family.
The attack occurred near Numaniyah in southern Iraq, a release from the Louisiana Army National Guard Wednesday revealed.
The vehicle's gunner, Spc. Kenneth Boyer of Pineville, with B Company, 199th Brigade Support Battalion in Alexandria, sustained minor injuries during the attack and is expected to make a full recovery, the release said.
Culver is the second Ark-La-Tex soldier to die in the nation's wars in less than a week.
On May 18, Spc. Joshua Tomlinson, of Dubberly, was one of two enlisted personnel killed with three U.S. officers and one Canadian officer in Kabul when their convoy was attacked with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device by enemy forces.
Culver is known to Shreveporters through his work with the local unit during its prior deployment as the 1/156th Armor Battalion in Iraq in 2004-05, through boss days at Camp Minden and through the unit's work in responses to hurricanes. His widow, Tracey Culver, is the kindergarten and day care director for the First United Methodist Church of El Dorado.
"Major Culver's positive influence and sense of duty will be felt in the squadron for years to come," said squadron commander Lt. Col. William Rachal of Breaux Bridge. "He was loved and respected by all. I have known Wayne Culver for more than 10 years and will always remember his sense of humor, sound counsel, and his constant concern for soldiers. We are deeply saddened by the loss of this fine officer and friend."
A graduate of LSU Shreveport, Culver received numerous military honors during his 22 years in the Guard, including the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Device, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, the Louisiana War Cross and the Louisiana Commendation Medal.
"The Army has the seven core values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage," said squadron Chaplain Capt. James Collins of Norman, Okla. "To me, Wayne exemplified those Army values. We learn them and we are supposed to live them. Not everyone does...but he did. He was a friend to everyone, regardless of rank. It didn't matter if they were a cook or a general, he treated everyone the same. He was a good husband, a good father and a good Soldier, but most importantly, he was a good man."
Culver was the son of Ronald W. Culver Sr. and Betty Culver, both of Shreveport. In addition to his widow, he leaves behind two children, Michelle Francis, 16, and Ronald Wayne III, 13. Before his latest deployment, he was employed by AmerCable.
Culver's body is in Kuwait, but is in transit and could arrive at Dover, Del., as early as today, Peterson said.
Funeral plans are pending, but Peterson said at this time the intent is for services to be in El Dorado, with a procession to Shreveport for burial with full military honors in a cemetery here.
Culver was second-in-command of the 2/108th contingent that left Shreveport in January for a yearlong deployment to Iraq, after training in Mississippi. The unit is headquartered at Fort Humbug.
In a 2005 article in The Times, Culver, then a captain, shared a sentiment with The Times that rings true today.
"The general public may not know or understand how much of a sacrifice these soldiers have made for our freedoms back home," he said.
Tomlinson's funeral will be Saturday, with a candlelight vigil planned in his memory in Minden on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., a half-hour later than first announced. That will allow the event to have greater impact, his aunt Linda Mahfouz said.
"It doesn't even get dark until 8 p.m.," she said. The vigil will last an hour or so.
Visitation for Tomlinson will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Minden, with services at 2 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church of Minden. Interment will be in Gardens of Memory, a cemetery in north Minden. The services and burial will be performed with full military honors.
Tomlinson, 24, was assigned to the Special Troops Battalion of V Corps out of Heidelberg, Germany.
Hillcrest Memorial Park and Mausoleum
GPS (lat/lon): 32.55915, -93.62147
Created by: John Andrew Prime
Record added: May 25, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 52844067