By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 4, 2010; 10:09 PM
Sgt. 1st Class Lance Herman Vogeler, who grew up in Maryland, was described Monday as a leader of men, a religious man and a member of an elite Army unit. He had been deployed four times to Iraq and eight to Afghanistan.
Vogeler, 29, who was raised in Frederick, was killed Friday in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said. A member of the 75th Ranger regiment, he was killed by enemy fire in Helmand province during an intense firefight, the Army's Special Operations Command said.
"He died doing what he felt called to do," said his parents' pastor, the Rev. Peter C. Myers. "Lance did not love war," Myers said. "But he had a job to do, and he took it extremely seriously."
"I wish the American people could truly understand the dedication and sacrifice that Lance Vogeler made for his country," said Col. Michael E. Kurilla, the commander of Vogeler's regiment.
In a statement, Kurilla called him "the quintessential Ranger" and "a hero to our Nation, the Army and his family."
Vogeler "stood out for his leadership, dedication and all of his talents," Lt. Col. Michael Foster, his battalion commander, said in the statement. "He has done so much for his Nation over the past nine years of combat action, it is hard to put it into words."
Vogeler was the son of Timothy and Donna Vogeler of Frederick, the Army said. Myers said that both are deaf and that Vogeler was fluent in American Sign Language.
He said Vogeler graduated from Gov. Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick, where his interests included soccer.
Myers said that after serving for a time, Vogeler was given the opportunity to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point., N.Y. He decided instead to remain with his men.
Myers said that those who served with the sergeant revered him "for his leadership and for the way he embraced" his responsibilities toward them. Vogeler was "a devout Christian," the pastor said, who had obtained a license to conduct marriage ceremonies after many of his men asked that he officiate at their weddings.
The Special Operations Command said that in addition to his parents, Vogeler's survivors include a wife and two children. Myers said a brother also survives. Vogeler was based at the Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia.