Specialist [at that time] Stephen Long, Alpha Company, 2nd Ranger Battalion survived nearly dying in a combat air assault on the island of Grenada that saw three of eight helicopters in the first wave crash. Major Stephen Long was one of the one hundred and twenty-five killed when a plane slammed full speed into the Pentagon on September 11th 2001.

According to his profile on Sacred Ground:

“Army Maj. Stephen Vernon Long, 39, entered active duty as an enlisted soldier 20 years before he was killed in the Pentagon attack. He started with a stint as a gunner at Fort Lewis, Wash., in July 1981, and as with many longtime servicemen, his career took him across the globe, from conflict to conflict.

Long saw military action as a paratrooper in Grenada with the 2nd Ranger Battalion in Operation Urgent Fury, where he received a Purple Heart. Seven years later, as a platoon leader for the 82nd Airborne Division, Long was among the first troops deployed to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, for Operation Desert Shield and the ensuing Persian Gulf War.

In the interim, Long had been selected for a “Green to Gold” scholarship to Augusta (Ga.) State University and moved from the enlisted to officer ranks.

Long remained in Saudi Arabia until March 1993, when he moved to Fort Bragg, N.C., followed by a nearly three-year tour in Germany. In April 1998, Long joined the U.S. Total Army Personnel Command in Alexandria, where he was working as secretary of the general staff for the office of the commanding general. A meeting brought him to the Pentagon on Sept. 11.

He is survived by his wife and two stepsons.”

We honor you, Stephen Long.

(Submission by: CSM Jim Pickering)