Historic Markers Across Georgia

Operation Just Cause - Dec 20 1989 - Jan 31 1990

Marker ID:  
Location: on Fort Benning Rd 1.6 miles south of Matheson Rd, Fort Benning, GA
County: Muscogee
Coordinates: N 32° 23.121    W 084° 57.263
  32.38535    -84.95438333
Style: Carved Stone **
Waymark: None


70th Infantry Div.
Dec 20 1989 - Jan 31 1990
Red Devils

1st Battalion (Airborne)
508th Parachute Infantry Regiment
193rd Infantry Brigade
Republic of Panama

Bronze plaque
The "Red Devil" Battalion executed a helicopter air assault into Ft. Amador, Panama on 20 December 1989. The paratroopers seized the Panama Defense Forces unit and facilities through the methodical room to room clearance of enemy occupied structures.

After conducting a relief-in-place with the Rangers at the Commandancia, the "Red Devils" cleared and occupied the Chorrillo neighborhood. During this period they re-established civil government functions, provided humanitarian aid, and conducted search and clear missions.

The "Red Devils' proved that through good leadership, they could control their fire and neutralize the enemy without collateral damage to the Panamanian people or their property. The paratrooper's hallmark in this operation was courage, compassion, tactical patience and executing the warrior ethos.


Killed in Action

Sgt Michael A Deblois
C CO 1/508th
20 Dec 1989

PFC Vance T Coats
C CO 1/508th
20 Dec 1989

Bronze plaque

Final Inspection

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To my Church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his soldiers and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills just got too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgement of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."
Sgt Joshua Helterbran
1/508th, 173rd ABCT