In Memory

Alfred C. Habelman

ALFRED C. "AL" HABELMAN, Brigade Command Sergeant Major, Green Beret, Special Operations Group, died in Iraq on Friday, April 1, 2005, at the age of 53. Command Sergeant Major Habelman or "Al" as he was known to his friends was born July 19, 1951, to Al and Bonnie Habelman. Al lived in Houston Texas most of his life. He graduated from Springs Woods High School in 1969, where he was an All-District football and baseball player. Al graduated from Sam Houston State University where he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. Al played professional baseball in the Montreal Expos organization. He was a multi-engine air transport pilot, single and multi-engine commercial pilot, and flight instructor. Command Sergeant Major Habelman exemplified the best of an American soldier with a decorated and honorable 31 years of service in the United States Army. A Green Beret, Airborne Ranger, and Special Forces Leader, Command Sergeant Major Habelman served with the 5th Special Forces Group, the most decorated unit in the Republic of Vietnam. He served with the 1st Special Action Force Asia in classified operations throughout Indochina. Al was Brigade Command Sergeant Major during "Operation Enduring Freedom" in Afghanistan. Served as Command Sergeant Major of the 7th Cavalry Regiment. Under Al's guidance the 7th was the first Apache Unit certified combat ready in the history of the reserves. He was a medical specialist, underwater expert, and 1st Degree Black Belt from Cha Wi Tae Kwan Do Academy, Uiganga Korea. Al's many decorations include several Meritorious Service Medals, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Three Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbons, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Four NCO Ribbons, Rifle M-16 Expert Badge, Master Parachute Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Class "One" Army Sniper, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Pathfinder Badge, Scuba Badge, HALO Badge, China Rough Terrain Parachute Badge, Korean Master Parachute Badge and the Malaysian Master Parachute Badge. His gifts and talents were numerous yet he was a most modest and kind man. Al had a profound influence on a great many lives. Al's surviving family, friends, and brothers in arms, all thank God for the time we had being woven into his life.

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02/09/09 11:42 AM #2    

Linda M. Roussell (Fowler)

I had no idea until today that Al had been killed in the service of our country. I am very saddened by this, but also know that he died doing what he loved and believed in.

02/19/09 05:01 PM #3    

J. E. (Jason) Lyons

I remember the day Coach Garrison made us run 40 forty yard and 10 hundred yard dashes after a full practice and a prolonged session of 3 on 3. I can still see Al laying in the end zone quite "ill" to be polite, and Coach Sibley kicking him and screaming at him to get up or go join the choir. Al indeed got up and finished the grueling ordeal - I've always wondered if Sibley had any idea of the man and hero Al was to become and the dedication to and the service he would give for his country.

On a lighter note, I recall seeing a guy with Al's name tag on at our 10 year reunion. I went up to him and asked why he had Al's name tag. He told me he was Al to which I replied, "the hell you are, Al's a friend of mine and you're not him." He was so slim and muscular that I just could not comprehend that it was indeed Al. Thank you Al for your friendship and for inspiring all of us to be better men.

04/26/09 05:23 PM #4    

Linda D. Freed (Klinger)

Al's obituary is an incredible tribute to one of our true heroes. I will just add a "ditto" to Gary Pazzaglia's entry, lest we forget all the brave and dedicated men and women in our Armed Forces, in this very perilous time. Thank you, Al, for keeping my family and my country safe.-Linda Freed Klinger

04/27/09 04:22 PM #5    

Debi Marshall (Cooke)

WOW! What a tribute! This makes me so sad, but so proud to have known such a courageous person. Thanks, Al!! You are the BEST! Debi.

06/04/15 01:53 PM #6    

Tim Burke

After 10 years I can finally tell my story about Al.  When we hit the IED, Al pushed me to the floor of the gun car and was trying to protect me from incoming fire when he was killed.  Nothing I could ever put in words that would tell how I feel about my life long friend Al.

Thanks Al for everything.

Tim Burke

06/04/15 04:10 PM #7    

Janie A. Hood (Zajicek)

I didn't know Al that well, but knew him to be well liked by many.  I've learned more about him since we all graduated.  He was an honorable man it seems.  One to remember and be proud of for all times.  Thank you Tim for your heartfelt comments.  I know they must have been tough to put into words.  I don't believe anyone will ever forget Al and all he accomplished.  I just wish I had known him before we lost him. 

06/04/15 04:39 PM #8    

Linda Denson (Pulscher)

Al is a memorable guy, he was always there no matter where you seemed to be, with a helping hand or good advice that you might want to do something other than what you were heading to do.  I knew Al from elementary school on and we had our moments!  At some point in the 1970's I spent one evening talking to him about our experiences in our encounter with the living Christ and how important our faith had become to us as young adults.  I will never forget that conversation and I will never forget that was an important part of who Alfred C. Habelman was all the way to the moment of his death where he became like Christ for his friend and gave his life for another.  It was natural for him, it was an honor for him, it was his destiny and his purpose and his whole life spoke to his faith and his love for Jesus Christ and how it changed who he was.  And I can testify to the fact that his relationship with a living God changed everything about him, including his apprearance, he was a new man in Christ and all who knew him would come to understand that truth about him.  Praise God for the life of our friend and may we one day be reunited.  Shalom, God's Peace!

06/05/15 10:14 AM #9    

Randy Stalnaker

Tim - Thanks for sharing. Al was obviously quite a hero and our class was lucky to have him.

06/05/15 11:34 AM #10    

Linda J Williams (Mc Mahon)

I did not know Al, however I am grateful for his service to out Country and my prayers to out to his family and friends for their loss.

06/05/15 12:21 PM #11    

Rebecca Preslar-(Smith)

A beautiful and informative tribute, for me, as I  had no idea.  I thank Al & his family for the greatest sacrifice of all,  for  his Country, and for keeping the USA free and safe from harm.  God Bless the Alfred C.Habelman Family & America, thank you so much for your bravery.  Thank you Tim for sharing, although I am sure it was very tough to share such a beautiful story.  Thank you also, for your bravery, and I am glad you made it home.. 

Enjoy your day,

Becky Preslar-Smith 

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