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Hero of the Week – Army Staff Sgt. Chauncy Ryan Mays

Posted by on Mar 13th, 2011 and filed under Feature, Human Interest, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

By MWOH
May. 13, 2011

Katherine Carpenter Mays, wife of Staff Sgt. Chauncy Ryan Mays wrote on her Facebook page, “Don’t take advantage of time spent with the one you love.

Cherish every second with that special someone.

I love you so much Chauncy!!

You are the best friend, husband, and father that anyone could ever ask for!

Not a minute will go by that you are not thought of.  Anyone who knew him knows he was definitely one of a kind. He loved his job and family more than anything.”  

Staff Sgt. Chauncy R. Mays, 25, of Cookville, Texas. gave his life in defense of his country Monday, 28 February 2011, while serving in Afghanistan. 

Chauncy was an Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Tech, also known as a bomb specialist. While en route to an IED (bomb) that had been spotted, his vehicle was hit with another IED.

At this time, there are no other specifics to the incident and the investigation is ongoing.

He was assigned to assigned to the 63rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, 20th Support Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.   Also killed in the attach was Spec. Christopher Stark.

Staff Sgt. Chauncy Mays was born Dec. 7, 1985, to Tommy Pierce Mays and Alyson Dawn Rodgers.  He was a 2004 of Chapel Hill High School in Titus County.  

Staff Sgt. Chauncy Mays entered the U.S. Army on June 17, 2004. He served in the 705th Ordnance Company, 184th EOD Battalion, Fort Polk, La., where he served as the EOD team leader.

“It made me sick every time he had to leave, but I always thought he was coming back,” said Matthew Terrell, Chauncy’s best friend.  

Matthew Terrell returned to Staff Sgt. Chauncy Mays childhood home when he learned of his best friend’s death. He says this is the place he feels closest to the fallen soldier.  

“Every time he came in, we’d usually get together and me and him and his daddy would hang out and throw some horseshoes,” said Terrell. “He was always talking about going back what he could do to help somebody else.

I never understood it, but it takes a different kind of person to do that and we’re all proud of him.”  Terrell says Chauncy had an undeniable love for his country, and for the military.  

“I never met anybody that was enthused, probably won’t ever again about being in the army and help serve the country,” said Terrell.  

The childhood friends made thousands of memories at this home. Terrell says none compare to the last time he saw his best friend and the joy in his eyes.

“When he showed me his little girl for the first time was a pretty good memory. He was proud of her,” said Terrell.  Terrell says this was supposed to be Chauncy’s final tour overseas, before returning to his family.

 ”That was his third tour, sure was. I think it was going to be his last. He was going to be teaching after that,” said Terrell.  

Friends wrapped a yellow ribbon around a tree in Chauncy’s front yard to honor the contribution he made to our country.

Terrell says he can’t be angry, because Chauncy died doing what he loved.  ”That goes back to the heart, an enormous heart, brave,” said Terrell. 

“I’m a big fellow but it’s hard to describe what kind of heart it takes to do that. Special people…all of them…not just him…everybody over there.”

An honorable and often tearful memorial was held for an east Texas soldier who fell in the line of duty in Afghanistan. ”They put on the uniform every day and put themselves in harms way,” said one family friend.

“He would actually probably be pretty mad that we did this because he never wanted to be known or high and mighty,” says Chaunceys bother , Cheyenne Mays.  Many choked back tears as they paid tribute.

“He was American soldier , American hero , American patriot,” said a memorial visitor. Many talked of how men measure their lives. Did they make a difference while they were here? Mays family says, he did.  

“He made a big difference , he had an impact on a of peoples lives he saved a lot of peoples lives,” Cheyenne says.

Casey Marie Skates wrote on Katherine’s Facebook page, “Your family is in my prayers.Chauncy was a good NCO and leader. I am glad I got to know him for the little time I did. He is a real great guy and soldier and will not be forgotten.”

In a tribute on Facebook Jason Buck wrote, “As of last night, the 705 EOD CO lost two of the greatest tech we had. Chauncy Mays and Chris Stark. I was recently moved to COP Tangi to work on their team.

I was absolutely thrilled to work under Chauncy and just as excited to have Chris as my team member. I kept thinking how lucky I was to have such a great team. I wanted to express my thoughts and feelings on the situation, as well as give some final notes to our fallen heroes.

What happened last night was the saddest event that’s ever happened to me. This is the first time anyone close to me has died. I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle death, and truthfully, tried to deny the fact I’d even have to go through it.

I’ll never forget the moment I heard that explosion in the distance and the exact time and place when I received the news that they passed away.

Chauncy- You were one-of-a-kind. You were the only person that stuck in my mind the first day I got to the unit. You introduced yourself as Chauncy Mays with that super friendly personality and smile.

You’ve just got this aura about you that explodes with likeability. I’ve never met a person who didn’t like you, and God knows they couldn’t find a reason not to.

As a tech, you taught me probably more than anyone else ever has. You’ve always been so excited to teach me and help me progress through my EOD career. I knew I could always turn to you for anything.

You were my biggest role model and a father-like-figure to me. I love you, man and you’ll always be in my prayers.”

Staff Sgt. Chauncy Ryan Mays is survived by his wife, Mrs. Kathy Mays; two daughters, Kiley Mays and Chesnee Mays; a brother, Cheyenne Mays; sisters Amanda Tenbrook, Stephanie Ray and Nikki Ray; his father, Tommy Mays; mother Alyson Dawn Rodgers; grandparents Jerry and Debbie Mays, B.J. and Thelma Boyd, Fred and Tina Overman, MawMaw Wanda, and Barbara Cook; great-grandparents Fred and Mavis Overman; his mother and father-in-law, Russell and Rhonda Carpenter; and numerous aunts and uncles.

Services were helded, March 11, 2011 at Lake Fork Baptist Church in Alba, Texas.   Burial was at Harmony Cemetery in Winnsboro with full military honors.  The Patriiot Guard Riders was  in attendance.

All Powerful God

We honor today those men and women— 

Our sons and daughters,

Husbands and wives,

Fathers, brothers, sisters, mothers—

Who have laid down their life for their country.

Whether weary or emboldened, quiet or defiant,

Vulnerable or ready when You called them home,

Their sacrifice is too humbling for words except these uttered in prayer.

Loving Lord, bless them forever in Your eternal peace.

Let the sounds of strife, the cries of battle, the wounds of war be calmed

for all eternity in Your loving and endless grace.

Let these great warriors find rest at last,

Ever reminded that we who are left behind Cherish their spirit, honor their commitment, send them our love, and will never forget the service that they gave. 

Thank you Staff Sgt. Chauncy Ryan Mays for your service and sacrifice for this great country that you so loved.  

Our prayers are offered up for your family, Katherine and the girls and your loved ones.  Your sacrifice will never be forgotten and we pray for peace in our Father’s loving arms.

Special Thanks to Debbie Frith for this poem.

Source: Military Wall of Honor

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1 Response for “Hero of the Week – Army Staff Sgt. Chauncy Ryan Mays”

  1. dianemn says:

    There are no words.

    My deepest condolences, and prayers to the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Mays.

    And heartfelt THANK YOU to Chauncy, his loving and supporting family, friends, and all our military past and present for these incredible sacrifices they make for all of us.

    There just are no words.

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