Remembering Rowdy

Capt. Rowdy Inman’s boots, saber and Stetson hat were placed by the American flag draped next to his urn. Inman, a 2000 graduate of Sam Houston State University, died in Iraq on Dec. 26 serving his country with the 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment. According to military reports, Inman and fellow soldier Sgt. Benjamin Portell were fatally shot by an Iraqi soldier while on a joint patrol in Mosul.The death of Inman is the first case made public of an Iraqi army soldier intentionally killing an American servicemen since the 2003 invasion.Somber friends and family gathered for the memorial service at Harper-Talasek Funeral Home in Killeen, Texas for the fallen soldier Jan. 4. “It’s one of those things where words fail to describe,” Student Government Association president Christopher Whitaker said. Whitaker served in Iraq in 2003 before attending SHSU.”We’re supposed to be helping train these guys to protect their own country,” Whitaker said. “To have one of them turn around and kill our guys is a tragedy.”Though these instances are rare, SHSU alumni Capt. Carrie Patrick admits there are times when Iraqi soldiers have been hostile toward U.S. soldiers in the past.”I spent 13 months in Iraq and I can say that, yes, there are a few Iraqis that want to kill us,” Patrick said. “The majority of them want us there and want the U.S. to help there are a few who have been brainwashed for so long that they want us dead.”SHSU Reserve Officers Training Corps alumni remember Inman for his dedication and passion for the armed forces.”He was very passionate about the military,” Patrick said. “He really took it to heart what we were doing.”Inman and Patrick met through the ROTC program after transferring to SHSU in 1998 and were both commissioned as officers in 2000.”He was a fabulous guy,” Patrick said. “We became his second family in ROTC. He loved to joke around and have a good time but at the same time, he was very dependable.”Inman often used his experience in the field to teach other students in the program and worked to make each class fun and productive.”Any time we did something that was a success and learned how to execute something properly he always seemed to turn it into something fun,” Patrick said. “I remember when we were doing a field mission. One of our missions was to go through this ravine and get all our men through it safely. There was water in the ravine and after we had completed it successfully, Rowdy threw someone in and we ended up having a huge mud fight. He was one of those personalities that everyone just loved to be around.”ROTC Lt. Col. Rick King said more than 15-25 SHSU alumni are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.”We have a lot of vets who decide to go to school at Sam,” Whitaker said. “Chances are, you have had a class with a veteran and didn’t even realize it.”Although Inman graduated before King could meet him, King says he is proud to have had the SHSU alumni serving overseas.”For me, being in the military for the past 23 years, I’m proud not just of the SHSU soldiers but of all the armed forces over there,” King said. “They’re doing amazing things.”Inman earned numerous awards as a military officer and participated in multiple deployments including Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Just Cause, according to his obituary.His wife, Shannon, along with daughters Keeley and Casey, and son Gary reside in Harker Heights near Fort Hood. According to the Conroe Courier, the Inman family is accepting memorials in a trust fund established for Keeley’s and Gary’s education through Bank of America. Those interested in making a donation should contact Bank of America and reference the “Rowdy Inman Family Assistance” account.”He was a great husband, a great father and an even better officer,” Patrick said. “He would help anyone that he could whether they were in the military or not. He is loved and will be missed.”

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