649th Military Police Company

Army Staff Sgt. David S. Perry, Age 36, of Bakersfield, California
assigned to 649th Military Police Company, Army National Guard, Camp San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Killed when a suspicious package he was inspecting exploded August 10, 2003 in Baquabah, Iraq.

Published: August 25, 2003


Aug. 17, 1966 — Aug. 11, 2003

Staff Sgt. David Scott Perry of Bakersfield, who grew up in Sonora, died in Ba'quban, Iraq, on Aug. 10 when a suspicious package he was inspecting exploded. He was 36.

Perry was with the Army National Guard's 649th Military Police Force out of San Luis Obispo. He was the first member of the California National Guard killed in the conflict with Iraq. He was also a correctional officer at Wasco State Prison north of Bakersfield and the first correctional employee from California to be killed in action in Iraq.

His wife, Denae, said he is credited with saving about 30 other soldiers when he cleared a perimeter around the package before inspecting it.

Flags have been ordered to fly at half-staff at all state prisons, parole offices and conservation camps in California until his funeral and memorial services have been held.

He attended Columbia Elementary School and graduated from Sonora High School in 1984, then spent four years in the Army as an aircraft electrician stationed in Germany.

He served in Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf in the early 1990s as part of a military police battalion charged with prisoner care.

After returning home from the Persian Gulf, he joined the California National Guard, then attended and graduated from the College of the Redwoods Police Academy.

He and his wife met while both were working at Burger King in Sonora in the early 1990s. They were married in 1993.

He is survived by his wife, Denae of Bakersfield; children, Alyssa, 6, Brandon, 4, and Sean, 1, all of Bakersfield; his parents, former Sonorans Jim and Sharon Perry, who are in the process of moving from Bend, Ore., to Fallon, Nev.; one sister, Diana Perry of Chicago and Oregon; his grandmother, Mary Perry of Gridley, Butte County; parents-in-law, David and Phyllis Carraher of Sonora; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Michelle and Jason Fell of Sonora; and three nieces, Briana Truex of Texas and Joanna and Aislinn Fell, both of Sonora.

Two services are scheduled. The first will be at Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home in Sonora at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, followed by a private inurnment.

A memorial service with full military honors will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, at Camp San Luis Obispo, off Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo.

Two memorial funds have been established for his children.

The SSGT David S. Perry Memorial Fund is at WestAmerica Bank, 14729 Highway 108, Sonora, CA 95370, account No. 2290961966.

The David Perry Fund is at Bank of Stockdale, 3990 Gosford Road, Bakersfield, CA 93309, account No. 043114077.

Staff Sgt. David S. Perry
The Anniston Star
Bakersfield, Calif.

As a prison guard at Wasco State Prison in California, Staff Sgt. David S. Perry was respected not only by his colleagues but by inmates as well, his supervisor said.

"He was consistent. He utilized his military ability to be very fair but firm with the inmates and very supportive with the staff," said Lt. Troy Ojeda said.

A military policeman, Perry, 36, of Bakersfield, Calif., was killed in Baquaba, Iraq, on Aug. 10, 2003, when a package dropped off at police headquarters exploded. He had been in Iraq since January.

Perry is survived by a wife and three children - ages 1, 4 and 6.

"He was a great person. He was goal-oriented. He wanted the best for the department, the best for the military and the best for his family," Ojeda said.

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