In August of 1978 John entered the U.S. Army as an enlisted mechanic. He was selected as a warrant officer (ordinance/maintenance) in 1988. He was promoted to chief warrant officer four on March 1, 2002.
John met and married his wife, Donna, while the two were stationed in Würzburg, Germany. They have a son and daughter-in-law, First Lt. Patrick and Mary Kirk Engeman and a daughter, Nicole Engeman.
John served on active duty for over 28 years. He deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm, Hurricane Andrew relief, Kosovo/Bosnia Peacekeeping, an assignment to Nigeria, and to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He served multiple tours in Germany and Korea, and at Fort Knox, Fort Drum and most recently, West Virginia. At the time of his death, John was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 312th Training Support Battalion, 4th Brigade, 78th Division, based at Fort Bragg, and was serving on the Military Transition Team assisting the Iraqi people in establishing their own security forces.
Engeman was sent to Iraq in February as part of an embedded special transition and advise security forces for one year.
By 4pm Sunday, Engemen said she knew something was amiss: “He usually called by 1 o’clock my time, but I figured because it was Mother’s Day there was a backup.”
Later that night, when she heard news reports that two soldiers had been killed in southern Iraq, she pushed the thought out of her head that it could be John and went to bed. At 6:15 am Monday, she got the news when soldiers arrived at her home.
“John was dedicated to his career; he had done it for 28 years. It was what he did,” Donna Engeman said. Although she said her husband had contemplated retiring before being deployed to Iraq, he always was ready to serve.
“His unit needed him. He would never shirk from anything. He would never leave his unit in a lurch,” she said proudly.
We honor you, John Engeman.