Staff Sgt. Aram J. Bass
United States Army
KIA 23 Nov 2005
25, of Niagara Falls, N.Y.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade
Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.; killed Nov. 23 when his unit came
under direct fire during combat operations in Baghdad. Also killed was Sgt. William B.
Meeuwsen. The circumstances of the soldiers' deaths are under investigation as a potential
friendly-fire incident.


This Memorial Page Established by-Gunny Hiles
In Honor Of SSG. Aram J. Bass

Though we honor this soldier here today,
We'll never forget your heroism on that day

We'll remember you until our end,
Not only as a loyal soldier, but
as our friend.

In our hearts you will remain.
So rest for now, 'til we meet again.

~Friends of Aram

Aram J. Bass

Aram J. Bass was born in Niagara Falls, New York on November 9, 1980, the son of Deborah
Johnson and William V. Bass.

To say Aram was born to be a soldier would be an understatement. He grew up in a military family
long before he went off to boot camp. As a boy growing up, he spent hours playing with GI Joes and
he made “helmets” for all his stuffed animals out of duct tape.

In his teen years, he grew up in the LaSalle area. He had his first “navy seal” experience when he
became a certified diver at the age of 15. He experienced his first "cold weather training" at Doe’s
hill and at the Reservoir. He experienced his first “jungle warfare” in the wooded lot on the Island
dressed in camouflage with his face painted playing paintball with his friends. He experienced his
first “at sea deployment” when he came home on a very cold and windy April day without his
families canoe. He decided to go wave jumping in the canoe and capsized in the Niagara River fully
dressed with a heavy sweater and boots on.

He attended Niagara Catholic High School where he played basketball and football. His school
guidance counselor tried to guide him into Forestry after his aptitude test revealed he was a
natural leader, he liked working in a group setting and enjoyed the outdoors. What his apptitude did
not reveal was his true love for country and his patriot heart.   One week after graduating in 1999,
he enlisted into the US Marine Corp. where he served for four years.

His leadership skills emitted during his very first training in the military. On graduation day from
Marine boot camp, as the graduate in charge, he led the ceremony with the guide-on. Right after
graduation from boot camp, he enrolled in the School of Infantry at Camp Lejeune where he
continued to enroll in military training and schooling throughout his Military career. Some of these
schools included, Security Forces School in Chesapeake, VA, Mountain Warfare School in
Bridgeport, CA, Infantry Squad Leader School in San Diego, CA and Cold Weather Training in
Northern Japan. Without question, Military schooling is both mentally and physically challenging.
Not only are the physical requirements a must, but personnel is required to learn and memorize
startling amounts of information. Aram always mastered both spectrums of his training and

He spent his Marine years serving in Seattle, Hawaii, Okinawa, and the Philippines. During his
service he touched many lives around the world.   Once he left the Marines, as a Staff Sergeant and
with the utmost honors, he re-enlisted into the US Army attending the 101st Airborne Air Assault
School. Shortly after his enlistment, Aram was deployed to Iraq, upon his own request.

On November 23rd, 2005, two weeks after his 25th birthday, Aram was KIA in Baghdad. Aram
sacrificed his life to save one of his brother’s in arms. On that Thanksgiving day, Aram and several
other soldiers were under attack. During this attack, their commanding officer, Lieutenant Matt
Ripka, was critically wounded, and in the attempt to get his officer in command to US grounds, SSG.
Aram J. Bass became the first casualty of Niagara Falls during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In the end,
Aram’s attempt to save his brother was successful; Lieutenant Ripka survived.

On his final day on earth, his character was portrayed in full. He was always looking out for the other
person. He was a great leader, intelligent, kind, gentle, thoughtful and loyal. Aram accomplished and
contributed more in his 25 years of life than most will do given 100 years.
              Meeuwsen and Bass                                             Bass and friend, Iraq