… (Devin Grella) joined the Army Reserve in December and was sent to Iraq within weeks of completing his basic training in June, according to his father. Devin Grella grew up in the home that the family built 25 years ago, attended Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron and graduated from Medina High School in this Cleveland suburb, his father said. “He was a great person. He loved his church, he loved his family,” Dennis Grella said by phone in between calls and visits from Devin’s friends and former classmates. He joined the Army Reserve out of a sense of patriotism and a desire to become an officer and earn money for college, Dennis Grella said. “He had a love for his country,” the father said. Dennis Grella said his family regularly received e-mails from Devin about the war and mentioned the threat from roadside bombs placed by insurgents. “I got an e-mail from him that morning (Monday). He had talked about IEDs (improvised explosive devices). It was a false alarm,” Dennis Grella said. Devin, who drove trucks providing supplies and fuel to U.S. troops, had been involved in convoys that hustled at 50 mph to 60 mph into Najaf during the recent heavy combat involving U.S. troops and fighters loyal to rebel Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, his father said.
In addition to his parents, Devin is survived by brothers Dustin, Darrin and Drew. Devin was the third oldest child.
Darrin has asked to speak at his brother’s funeral even though his father warned about the likely emotion of the moment. “He said there are so many good things about Devin. I want people to be able to know about them,” Darren told his father.