Todd M. Bates
  • 20 years old
  • Date of birth: Mar 29, 1983
  • Date of passing: Dec 10, 2003
Let the memory of Todd be with us forever
Army Spc. Todd M. Bates Died December 10, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom 20, of Bellaire, Ohio; assigned to the 135th Military Police Company, Army National Guard based in Brookpark, Ohio; placed on duty status whereabouts unknown. Bates was on a river patrol on the Tigris River south of Baghdad Dec. 10 when his squad leader fell overboard. He dove into the water after his squad leader, Staff Sgt. Aaron T. Reese, but did not surface. Reese did not survive. When his squad leader lost his balance and fell from a patrol boat into Iraq’s Tigris River, Spc. Todd M. Bates plunged in to try to rescue him. “Todd always wanted to be somebody,” said the Rev. Don Cordery, the soldier’s high school football team chaplain. Bates succeeded in that goal, Cordery said, becoming “an American hero.” The 20-year-old gunner from Bellaire, Ohio, drowned along with Staff Sgt. Aaron Reese on Dec. 10. Both were members of the 135th Military Police Company, based in the Cleveland suburb of Brook Park, Ohio. Bates wrote his grandmother from Iraq, telling the woman who raised him that he was grateful for his upbringing. “He said when he saw the kids over there he appreciated all the things he had,” Shirley Bates said. “The selfless sacrifice of Spc. Bates is incredible,” said Maj. Gen. John Smith, adjutant general of Ohio.

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