WASHINGTON – Sgt. 1st Class Floyd E. Lake, a logistics coordinator with the Army National Guard, was so good at what he did that, when he joined the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va., three years ago, he filled the shoes of someone two ranks higher.
Lake, 43, a resident of Beltsville since December 2004, died Saturday, one of 12 soldiers killed in a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crash northeast of Baghdad, Department of Defense officials confirmed Wednesday.
He is survived by his wife, Linda, and five children, J’Nelle, Floyd Jr., Andre, Keeshawn and Tamile.
“He was a wonderful individual. Having him around was a charm,” said his commanding officer, Sgt. Maj. Tony Davis.
Colleagues remember Lake as a dedicated father who often could be found attending his children’s elementary school activities or running and exercising with his children, Andre and Tamile, who lived with him in Beltsville.
An outdoorsman and “fitness fanatic,” Lake took pride in his health and many physical fitness achievement medals. He repeatedly scored “master fitness” level in military physical training tests, said his civilian boss, Felicia Barrett, logistics support branch chief in the Army National Guard Readiness Center in Arlington.
“He was always out in front, beating most of us in physical fitness tests,” said Davis.
A native of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Lake spoke often of his home, colleagues said, treating them to island food he prepared himself at home and stories of buying sweet apples at the open market.
Lake graduated from Ivana Eud Kean High School in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands in 1984, National Guard officials said.
A career soldier, he enlisted in the Army in 1988, and served two years as a stock record clerk at Fort Polk, La., before completing his tour of duty.
In 1990, Lake joined the Virgin Islands Army National Guard, and served as the material control and handling supervisor for the 662nd Field Service Co. on St. Thomas. In 1991, he moved to St. Croix, where he served as the warehouse foreman at the office of the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office.
In 2004, Lake transferred to the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, where he was the logistics non-commissioned officer at the Readiness Center, and was responsible for maintaining a $3 million purchasing budget and providing computers, supplies and automation equipment to over 250 soldiers in three divisions.
“He took care of everything here,” said Barrett. “He would do anything you asked him. He took care of his missions and was meticulous about his duties.”
Barrett remembers Lake as an easygoing, soft-spoken man, who was not a socialite, but very friendly, and always promised to bring her island jewelry. Lake deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in October, 2006.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
– 30 – CNS-1-12-07