KIA October 22, 2006
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany
Army SGT Willsun Mock died of injuries sustained from an IED that detonated under his vehicle near Baghdad. An Iraqi interpreter was killed and two other American soldiers were wounded.
From an early age, WillSun always knew he wanted to do something that allowed him to make a difference. He was always a team player, quickly adapting to new situations and becoming an integral part of any team that he was a part of. As a high school sophomore he was introduced to the gun club, and easily excelled in competition, placing first at a tournament with his 4-man team. Willsun’s life changed when he was introduced to JROTC during his junior year of high school. His interest in JROTC gave him the drive to better his grades, and ultimately graduated a month early to begin his mission to join the Marines.
Unfortunately, due to his eyesight, he wasn’t able to enlist in the Marines, but after the events of 9/11, he was more determined than ever to join the military. After focusing on doing whatever necessary to enlist, he was finally accepted in to the Army, and began basic training in Georgia after spending time with his family in Kansas.
After originally being stationed in Germany, he decided to volunteer to serve in Iraq. He quickly excelled in his role within his company. Willsun spent 15 months in Iraq during 2003 and 2004 before his company returned to the states. Determined and driven to continue making a difference, he requested to transfer to a company that was staying in Germany; it was during this time that he made Sergeant and began training troops who were being deployed to the Iraqi conflict. His new company was eventually sent orders to deploy to Musul, Iraq, but at the last moment the company was diverted to Baghdad.
Willsun was known for his dedication to his service, and the ease with which he filled the leadership roles within his company. Those that served with him shared that he often took on the role of “big brother” with the younger soldiers, helping them adjust to their deployment and giving guidance to those that felt like they lacked direction in their life. He was fiercely committed to his team, and built an unbreakable bond with his brothers-in-arms.
“The soldiers of 2nd Platoon would have followed him into the fiery depths of hell and back,” SSG John Gregroy, said.
The 23 year old from Harper, Kansas, was a decorated warrior, remembered for his motto “Strength and Honor.” His awards included a Bronze Star Medal, 2 Purple Hearts, one of which he declined, an Army Commendation Medal and Army Achievement Medal.
Willsun leaves behind his parents, Mike and Ann Mock, and siblings, Teresa, Eric, J’Sun, Tammy, Connie and Ruth.
SGT WillSun Mock was 23 years old from Harper, Kansas.
The original portrait was delivered June 27th to his mom, Ann, siblings and family in Wellington, Kansas at the Wellington Heat “USA Military Night” sponsored by Cowley College.