Staff Sgt. Renee Antoinette Deville, an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran recovering from complex injuries at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, died Sept. 1 in her room at the Mologne House. She was 44.
Deville, an Army Reservist assigned to the 352nd Civil Affairs Command on Fort Meade as a Human Resource specialist, arrived at Walter Reed Aug. 10, 2006, after being injured in a mortar attack.
She deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 401st Civil Affairs Battalion from Webster, N.Y.
While at Walter Reed, Deville was assigned to Chosen Battery, Warrior Transition Brigade, and was among three graduates of the Army's first Basic Noncommissioned Officers Course Stand Alone Common Core offered to Warriors in Transition.
The course, which was a pilot program, was academically heavy, with students completing almost six hours of written exams. They were also evaluated on drill and ceremony.
Deville, who successfully completed every aspect of the course from a wheelchair, was lauded by SGT Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston as exemplifying the Army's 'Warrior Ethos', at the graduation ceremony for the course on March 28,2008.
'She was one of the best,' said her friend, Master Sgt. Carol Hope of the 352nd. 'A hard worker and talented in her specialty. ... A very good, all-around Soldier.'
Renee Deville was also a wife and mother. And, as a mother, she was the impetus for a new playground being built behind the Mologne House at Walter Reed in 2007.
An Oct. 2007 Washington Post article about the opening of the playground says that SSGT Deville's 'mention of her children's limited recreational options to Col. Bruce Haselden, the garrison commander, helped set in motion the playground project .'
'My daughter was actually counting the fish,'she was quoted as saying in the article.
She went on to say, as she watched her two daughters, Janee and Amani, playing in the playground: 'The other day, Amani made a comment that really made me cry. She said, 'I don't want you to be a military mom. I want you to be a normal mom.' How do you handle that?' Deville asked.
'Here, children can be children. They can mingle, share stories about what they were doing when their parents were away. That in itself helps,' Renee said.
This Fallen SA Hero, who was an inspiration for her courage and determination, and the catalyst for brightening the lives of many Wounded Warrior's children while their parent is recovering at Walter Reed,
is survived by her husband, Joseph, and 4 children: Kevin, Justin, Amani,10 and Janee, 5
as well as two grandchildren.
She is also survived by her mother, Bertina Bonner, brother- Dwayne Dyke,and sisters-Gina Dyke, Cherise Blaske and Cherita Bonner.
SSGT. Renee Antoinette Deville will be laid to rest on Friday, September 19 in Arlington National Cemetary.