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									                                                   2009
                      Staff Sgt. Timothy A. David




                      Hometown: Gladwin, Michigan, U.S.

                      Age: 28 years old

                      Died: June 28, 2009 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

                      Unit: Army, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team,
                      1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas

                      Incident: Killed when a makeshift bomb detonated near his vehicle.

Timothy A. David had an unusual business idea for when he got out of the military. It involved both safety
and fun _ a bar bus. "Believe it or not, he was going to buy a couple of buses, transport people from Fort
Hood to Austin, Texas," said his father, Michael David. "He was going to get a liquor license and make a bar
bus." David, 28, of Gladwin, Mich., died June 28 in Sadr City after a roadside bomb detonated near his
vehicle in Baghdad. He was a 1999 high school graduate and was assigned to Fort Hood. A senior sniper, he
was on his sixth tour of duty, having previously served two tours in Afghanistan and three tours in Iraq. "He
was just an all-around good kid," said Michael David. "He left the Army life with the Army when was home,
that was Tim." In high school, David was a member of his school's football and track teams. "He got the
most out of his ability," said Jim Emery, the boys'' track coach. "He had a good year in the high jump his
senior year." He also is survived by his mother, Linda. "He was a good kid," his father said. "He was a joy to
be around."

Community honors fallen Beaverton soldier
        Rebecca Trylch and Angela Brown

BEAVERTON (WJRT) -- (07/08/09)--A Mid-Michigan soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice serving our
country in Iraq was given a patriotic final farewell Wednesday.

Staff Sgt. Timothy David of Beaverton was killed last week when a bomb exploded near his vehicle.
Wednesday was his funeral.

Friends, family and complete strangers came together to mourn the loss of a decorated war hero.

Standing below an American flag flying half staff, dozens of Patriot Guard Riders performed yet another
mission.

"It's rural America at it's best," said Bill "Coyote" Schwalm. "And one thing: We don't come to a mission
unless we're invited by the family."

Many attending the funeral didn't know David, but they do know his sacrifice.

"Everybody here is aware of what the family's feeling, and we grieve just as much as they do," said Jim
Johnston.

Cheryl Walding and her niece came to say goodbye to a man who served his country and made his
community proud.

"It's devastating," she said.
David's final farewell was held at Beaverton High School, the very school he graduated from 10 years ago.
And as sad as this day is, Walding says it's a somber lesson for her niece Taylor Haner.

"I want her to learn," she said. "This is what we are about. This is where the country pulls together, where we
pull together no matter where we're from."

Haner and Walding, like many in attendance, said they wished they could thank David in person.

"There's so many people out there protecting our country and everything, it's just like ... all I would say is,
'Thank you,'" Haner said.

A local man is giving up is time and money to honor fallen soldiers, including David.

He is making birdhouses for families of soldiers killed oversees.

"It's rewarding," said Don McGowan. "You just don't know how rewarding it is."

McGowan builds the birdhouses using his own money and often delivers them to family members, who in
turn share their gratitude.

McGowan plans to make a birdhouse for the families of every Michigan solider killed in Iraq, but his plan
has hit a snag. He cannot find the addresses for all the families.

The cost to make three of the birdhouses is around $32. So far McGowan has made nearly 136, but the
money isn't a factor.

"It is worth it," McGowan said.


Family, friends say goodbye to fallen soldier
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/story?section=news/local&id=6905062

Local Man Builds Birdhouse For Families of the Fallen

http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/video?id=6905423

Breaking news:Beaverton soldier laid to rest today
Angela E. Lackey | angelalackey@mdn.net

BEAVERTON - Family and friends said their final good-byes to Staff Sgt. Timothy A. David
today. David, 28, of Beaverton, died Sunday, June 28, while serving in Iraq.
Beaverton High School was filled with about 200 people who came to honor David as their
hometown hero. The Patriot Guard Riders, many holding American flags, lined the front of
the school before the one-hour funeral service began.

"He put his life on the line for his country and for the people of Iraq," said Jim Johnston, the
Patriot Guard's Region 5 ride captain.

David was in the U.S Army with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade
Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, based in Fort Hood, Texas. He was an Airborne
Ranger and senior sniper with his unit.

He had served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and was on his fourth tour in Iraq when he
sustained fatal wounds after an improvised explosive device exploded near his vehicle.

For more, see Thursday's Daily News.
Funeral, flags lowered for Mich. GI killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

BEAVERTON, Mich. — Friends and family will say their final goodbyes to a mid-Michigan soldier
who was killed during his fourth tour of duty in Iraq.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has ordered flags flown at half-staff Wednesday for Sgt. Timothy David of
Beaverton. He died June 28 in Baghdad of wounds sustained when an improvised device
exploded near his vehicle in Sadr City, Iraq.

David served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and four in Iraq.

The Midland Daily News and TV stations WNEM and WJRT say the 28-year-old's body was
flown Monday into MBS International Airport.

David's funeral is Wednesday afternoon at Beaverton High School, about 80 miles north of
Lansing. Burial follows at St. Andrew Cemetery & Mausoleum in Saginaw.

‘A joy to be around,’ father says

The Associated Press

Timothy A. David had an unusual business idea for when he got out of the military. It involved both
safety and fun — a bar bus.

“Believe it or not, he was going to buy a couple of buses, transport people from Fort Hood to
Austin, Texas,” said his father, Michael David. “He was going to get a liquor license and make a
bar bus.”

David, 28, of Gladwin, Mich., died June 28 in Sadr City, Iraq, after a roadside bomb detonated near
his vehicle in Baghdad. He was a 1999 high school graduate and was assigned to Fort Hood.

A senior sniper, he was on his sixth tour of duty, having previously served two tours in Afghanistan
and three tours in Iraq.

“He was just an all-around good kid,” said Michael David. “He left the Army life with the Army when
he was home — that was Tim.”

In high school, David was a member of his school’s football and track teams. “He got the most out
of his ability,” said Jim Emery, the boys’ track coach. “He had a good year in the high jump his
senior year.”

He also is survived by his mother, Linda.

“He was a good kid,” his father said. “He was a joy to be around.”
Flags to be Flown Half-Staff Wednesday for Staff Sgt. Timothy A. David of Gladwin

Contact: Debbie Whipple 517-335-6397

July 7, 2009




LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today ordered United States flags throughout the state
of Michigan and on Michigan waters lowered for one day on Wednesday, July 8, 2009, in honor of
Staff Sgt. Timothy A. David of Gladwin, who died June 28 in Sadr City, Iraq, while on active duty
supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Flags should return to full-staff on Thursday, July 9.

Staff Sgt. David, age 28, died from injuries sustained earlier in Baghdad, when an improvised
explosive device detonated near his vehicle. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry
Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

This was Staff Sgt. David's 6th tour of duty, having previously served twice in Afghanistan and was
completing his 4th tour of duty in Iraq. Funeral services will be held at Beaverton High School in
Beaverton, Michigan, on Wednesday with burial in St. Andrews Cemetery in Saginaw. He was the
son of Michael and Linda David of Beaverton.

Under Section 7 of Chapter 1 of Title 4 of the United States Code, 4 USC 7, Governor Granholm,
in December 2003, issued a proclamation requiring United States flags lowered to half-staff
throughout the state of Michigan and on Michigan waters to honor Michigan servicemen and
servicewomen killed in the line of duty. Procedures for flag lowering were detailed by Governor
Granholm in Executive Order 2006-10 and included in federal law under the Army Specialist
Joseph P. Micks Federal Flag Code Amendment Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-41).

When flown at half-staff or half-mast, the United States flag should be hoisted first to the peak for
an instant and then lowered to the half-staff or half-mast position. The flag should again be raised
to the peak before it is lowered for the day.

When a member of the armed services from Michigan is killed in action, the governor will issue a
press release with information about the individual(s) and the day that has been designated for
flags to be lowered in his or her honor. The information will also be posted on Governor
Granholm's Website at www.michigan.gov/gov in the section titled "Spotlight."

http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/story?section=news/local&id=6891912
Fourth and final tour: Beaverton soldier killed by IED in Iraq




Angela E. Lackey
angelalackey@mdn.net

Sgt. Timothy A. David, 28, of Beaverton, was supposed to leave Iraq last February. Instead, he
died while serving his fourth tour of duty.

David was a 1999 graduate of Beaverton High School. He was the son of Michael and Linda David
of Beaverton.
"It was devastating," said Michael David of learning about his son's death Monday morning.

"He was a good kid," he continued. "He was a joy to be around."

The Department of Defense reported that David died Sunday in Sadr City, Iraq, of wounds suffered
when an improvised explosive device exploded near his vehicle. He was in the U.S Army with the
2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, based in
Fort Hood, Texas.

David said his son did two tours of duty in Afghanistan and was on his fourth tour of duty in Iraq.
He said his son was scheduled to leave Iraq in February, but the Army extended his tour. He had
been in the Army for 10 years.

"This was his last year. He was getting out of the military," he said. "Enough was enough."

David said his son was planning to return to college, and also had a rather unusual business idea.

"Believe it or not, he was going to buy a couple of buses, transport people from Fort Hood to
Austin, Texas," he said. "He was going to get a liquor license and make a bar bus."

Jim Emery, the boys' track coach at Beaverton High School for 32 years, remembered Timothy as
a hard worker and a good athlete.

"He got the most out of his ability," Emery said. "He had a good year in the high jump his senior
year."

Emery said Timothy was a "nice kid."

"When I saw him, he always said, 'Hi.' He was a real personable kid," he said. "This is just a sad
thing to have happen."

Hall-Kokotovich Funeral Home of Gladwin and Beaverton is handling the funeral arrangements.
Family members traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware for the return of his body, which
arrived last night. The funeral service is expected to be sometime next week.

"He didn't deserve this," David said. "I hope the community comes out and supports his farewell."




Gladwin soldier killed in Iraq laid to rest in Saginaw Township
Armando L. Sanchez | Booth Mid-MichiganArmy Staff Sgt. Timothy A. David's body
arrives at St. Andrews Cemetery for burial Wednesday afternoon.

With a police escort and members of the Patriot Guard flanking his funeral procession,
Staff Sgt. Timothy A. David of Gladwin County was laid to rest in Saginaw Township's
St. Andrews Cemetery on Wednesday.

David, 28, died June 28 from injuries he sustained in a bomb blast in Sadr City, Iraq,
when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle, the Defense
Department said.
Ten members of American Legion Post 439 in Saginaw Township attended the burial
service. About 100 people attended total.

"We're proud of this man we did not know. We appreciate his service, and we know
he's rewarded in heaven for his great service to this country," said Mike Wagner, 68,
of Shields, a post chaplain and Vietnam-era veteran.
The post had its ritual team and rifle squad on standby, although members of the U.S.
Army also attended the service, which included a 21-gun salute and the playing of
"Taps."

David arrived in a silver hearse. The procession followed services at Beaverton High
School, where David was a 1999 graduate and a member of the school's football and
track teams.

Gladwin Sheriff's Department and Beaverton Police Department vehicles were part of
his escort.

The line of vehicles arrived about 3 p.m. at the cemetery, 381 St. Andrews, where
David was buried near a family headstone. He is the son of Michael and Linda David of
Beaverton.

David was on his sixth tour of duty, having previously served two tours in Afghanistan
and three tours in Iraq.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm ordered U.S. flags flown at half-staff Wednesday in his honor.

A senior sniper, he was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st
Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, out of Fort Hood, Texas.
According to an earlier ABC News report, David was returning from a rescue mission
to save his battalion commander, Lt. Col. Tim Karcher, who was injured in a bomb
blast, when David's patrol was hit by a second bomb.
His death comes as U.S. troops are pulling out of cities in Iraq and preparing to leave
the nation.

David's 14 military honors include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and the Army
Commendation, Achievement and Good Conduct medals, plus many others.




           Cpl. Nicholas R. Roush
                Hometown: Middleville, Michigan, U.S.


                Age: 22 years old


                Died: August 16, 2009 in Operation Enduring Freedom.


                Unit: Army, 1st Psychological Operations Battalion, 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg,
                N.C.


                Incident: Died in Herat, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when a makeshift bomb detonated near his vehicle.


                       Cpl. Nicholas R. Roush


                       ROUSH - Cpl. Nicholas R. Roush was welcomed into the presence of the Lord on Sunday, August
                       16, 2009 in Herat, Afghanistan, age 22. Nicky was born January 19, 1987 to the parents of
                       Robert Graham, Jr. and Donna Mae Huisman. He was very proud to serve his country and
                       earned rank as Corporal serving in the U.S. Army. He is survived by parents, Robert and Donna
                       Roush Jr.; brothers, Bobby Roush (Mary Elaine) of Grand Rapids, MI, Kyle Roush of Kentwood,
                       MI; grandparents, Pastor Robert Roush Sr. and Kathy of Lowell, MI, Gertrude Huisman of
                       Kentwood, MI; and soul mate, Kaleigh Page. He was preceded in death by his grandfather,
Peter Huisman. Nicky was a 2005 Thornapple-Kellogg Graduate and attended KVCC. He was an active member of the
First Baptist Church of Middleville, MI. The family will be welcoming friends at the First Baptist Church of Middleville,
MI on Sunday, August 23 from 5 to 8 p.m. and Monday, August 24 from 12 to 2 and 5 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will
be Tuesday, August 25 at 11 a.m. Interment with full military honors will take place at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be directed to First Baptist Church, 5215 N. M-37 Highway, Middleville, MI 49333. Those
who wish may share a memory with the family at www.lauerfh.com. Published in Grand Rapids Press on August 21, 2009


Middleville soldier killed in Afghanistan told family battles had
intensified in recent weeks
By The Grand Rapids Press August 18, 2009, 4:18AM




U.S. Army Cpl. Nick Roush was 22-year-old Thornapple-Kellogg High School graduate.

MIDDLEVILLE -- Seeing a man wearing a U.S. Army dress uniform pull into their driveway,
Donna Roush believed her son, Cpl. Nick Roush, pulled off a second surprise visit in a year.

Those hopes were quickly dashed when two men emerged, bearing word that had kept her
largely sleepless at nights for two years: Roush, a 22-year-old special operations soldier, was
killed in an explosion in Afghanistan.

"You trust in the Lord, but you're just so worried for your boy because there's nothing you can
do," said Bob Roush, the soldier's father. "It's devastating.
"The only thing that lets you go on is that we are counting on seeing Nick in heaven."
The Thornapple-Kellogg High School graduate joined the Army after spending two years at
Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

That's where he encountered a wounded special operations soldier who told Roush about life
in the military and being part of a team focused on a mission.
The soldier told Roush how he felt his life was significant because of his duty, and how that
drive and optimism disappeared when he could not return due to his injury.

It was a tale that moved Roush to be the best that he could be, his father said.
"He got his wheels moving and once that happens you can't stop him," Bob Roush said. "He
never even let us talk to him about it. He wanted to serve. He wanted to do something
significant.

"He has done that and more."
The former high school golfer who shared a love of cars with his father -- the pair stripped
and rebuilt a beat up Eagle Talon into a prize-winning show vehicle -- turned himself into the
finest physical specimen he could.

In basic and specialized training, Roush's goal was always to land with the elite class of the
Army special operations team, his father said.

"He never did anything 50 percent. It was always 110 percent."
Still, there were times where Roush's passion was outweighed by stark reality. Several weeks
ago, the last time Roush talked to his parents, the 22-year-old said he watched a member of
his unit take a bullet to his leg.

"You could sense something," his father said.
"He said it was getting crazy, that it was getting hot there. We got nervous, but then he went
back to his jovial self."

Roush deployed to Afghanistan on Easter Sunday, leaving from his parents' house.
Rarely could he tell them where he was or exactly what he was doing.
His death still remains somewhat of a mystery.

The U.S. Department of Defense on Monday reported Roush died from injuries suffered when
an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
The family has yet to learn more, Bob Roush said.

"We don't know if anyone else in the unit was lost. We hope not."
The death has already sparked compassion in the Barry County community where Roush was
raised with his brothers, Bobby and Kyle.

The couple's church, First Baptist Church of Middleville has surrounded them, and neighbors
have reached out with love. Roush shared the deep faith of his family and was involved in the
church.

While funeral arrangements are pending as Roush's body returns to the United States, Pastor
Frank Snyder will work with and counsel the family through their pain.

"We'll do whatever is necessary," he said.

Tony Koski, the high school principal, knows Roush's death with have a profound impact on
people.

Roush was a senior golfer during Koski's first year as the district's athletic director.
"Nick was a solid student, but more importantly he was a nice young man and a great
citizen," Koski said.
"It's a big loss."

Across from the Roush home, Sara Lee has already felt the impact.
"What courage and what strength he had to know the danger and have the desire to go and
help others," Lee said. "The family has made the ultimate sacrifice and it's a sobering
reminder of the dangers of war.

"He's a hero to me."
U.S. Army Cpl. Nick Roush was part of an Army special operations unit serving in
Afghanistan.


Friend who witnessed attack in Afghanistan escorts body of Cpl.
Nick Roush home to final rest in Middleville
By The Grand Rapids Press August 25, 2009, 4:51AM




                    Rex Larsen | The Grand Rapids PressArmy Sgt. 1st Class Jason Montesanto
                    escorted the body of his friend, Cpl. Nick Roush, home from Afghanistan to
                    Middleville.




MIDDLEVILLE -- As the Marine convoy rumbled down a road near Herat, Afghanistan, Army Sgt. 1st
Class Jason Montesanto heard the blast behind him. Then he heard small arms fire coming at them as
he rushed to help the wounded.

He saw the armored Humvee of his teammate and friend, Cpl. Nick Roush, overturned two vehicles
back.

Less than 24 hours later, Montesanto was on a plane for Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. It was
the first leg in an emotional journey to bring Roush, who stood with Montesanto at his wedding, back to
his final resting place in Middleville.

FLAGS AT HALF STAFF
Across Michigan, U.S. flags will be lowered to half-staff today in honor of Cpl. Nicholas
Roush, killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 16.
• Gov. Jennifer Granholm issued the flag order.
• When flown at half-staff, the U.S. flag should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then
lowered to the half-staff position, according to flag protocol.
• The flag should again be raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.
The somber duty of Roush's military funeral escort was something Montesanto, of Reno, Nev., knew he
must do for his friend.

"I'm not going to let anyone else take my guy home," he said as friends and family of Roush, 22,
gathered Monday at First Baptist Church of Middleville for visitation.
Roush, who was expected to make sergeant's rank soon, was to be buried today during a ceremony
with full military honors, including a fly-over by three Blackhawk helicopters. He died Aug. 16 in the
blast, which also killed an interpreter riding in the Humvee Roush was driving. Four Marine passengers
were also injured, two seriously.

Montesanto accompanied Roush's coffin to Qatar, then to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany before
an overseas flight to Dover Air Force Base and finally, Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Roush
received full military honors at every stop.




                    Rex Larsen | The Grand Rapids PressAn honor guard carries the coffin of Cpl. Nick
                    Roush past his family on Friday after arrival at Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

During the last leg, Montesanto struggled with what to say to Roush's family and tried to put it down on
paper. He wasn't sure what to expect at the airport.

"His mother came directly to me and gave me a hug," said Montesanto, who planned to speak at the
funeral today.

Montesanto said the honor and respect shown to Roush has been overwhelming, particularly after they
landed in Grand Rapids last Friday. The route from there to Middleville was thick with flag-waving
supporters.

"To see pretty much the entire route lined with people, the flags and signs, everything was just
amazing, beyond any expectation I had," he said.

Perhaps Montesanto's easiest job was describing Roush's bravery, intelligence and dedication. He and
Roush were part of the Army's First Psychological Operations Battalion, Fourth Psychological Operations
Group from Fort Bragg, N.C., and attached to a Marine unit.
Their job was to talk with local Afghanistan people, gather information and "find out how to make
things better for them."

"Nick was a natural at it," Montesanto said. "We would go out to a village and he would just start
talking to people. He really loved it."

Recently, part of their job was to have a presence so the Afghanistan people could vote in the Aug. 20
election with as little fear as possible. Some had been intimidated not to vote.
The situation had become more volatile in recent weeks. A Marine was injured when a bullet hit his leg
in a vehicle's gun turret, and someone fired rocket-propelled grenades at their unit, but missed.

"Nick never flinched, never wavered," Montesanto said. "He knew what was happening and what the
potential consequences were."

Roush, he said, wanted to be in the thick of things.

"He wanted to not just be a soldier, but a soldier who wanted to make a difference," Montesanto said.
"I think where he felt he could make the most difference was in the fight."
As they talked about their friend, Montesanto and his wife, Gretchen, remembered his humorous ways,
including his matter-of-fact way of saying "unbelievable" when somebody did something off-the-wall or
unexpected.

He was one of the most physically fit soldiers in the Herat unit, always leading runs, and found ways to
motivate others to exercise.

Montesanto, even though he helped place his friend's body in a coffin, isn't sure the loss has fully
registered with him yet.

"I don't think the breadth of this is going to be known to me until I get back to Afghanistan," he said.
"There is not going to be any replacing him."
E-mail John Tunison: jtunison@grpress.com

                    A fallen soldier returns home to West Michigan
                      http://www.wwmt.com/articles/west-1366117-michigan-
                      0in.html
MIDDLEVILLE, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – On Friday, West Michigan said thank you and goodbye to a
soldier who died serving his country. Corporal Nick Roush's body arrived home on Friday in Grand Rapids.

Roush was killed on Sunday by an explosion. The 22-year-old Middleville native died in Herat, in the
western part of Afghanistan after an IED exploded near his vehicle.

Roush was a graduate of Thornapple-Kellogg High School in Middleville. He was assigned to the 1st
Psychological Operations Battalion, 4th Psychological Operations Group, based out of Fort Bragg, North
Carolina. Roush was on the verge of a promotion to sergeant when he was killed.

After his body arrived in Grand Rapids, a motorcade lead the way from the airport to the First Baptist
Church in his hometown of Middleville, and all along the way, crowds showed their gratitude and respect.
Hundreds, if not thousands, lined the streets and red, white, and blue were blowing in the wind. Most of
those gathered didn't even know Corporal Roush, and yet many drove from miles away to give him tribute.

"I would pray that, God forbid, in the same situation that people would show my family the same type of
respect," said Major Tony Vacha of the United States Army. For those who knew Corporal Roush, the flying
colors and somber faces meant perhaps more than words could express.

"For those of us who are here, especially those who knew him, this is something we will never forget," said
Leanne Bailey, a friend of the family.

Roush's whose parents described as a skinny, red-haired jokester with a big toothy grin, will certainly be
missed. "I think they're going to miss his smile, his smile was great," said Bailey. "He just lit up the room."

As for the mission he set out on for America, which turned him into Corporal Roush, the hope is that his
family will be able to look back and know that his sacrifice wasn't in vain. "He just wanted to make a
difference, and I really think he did," said Bailey.

Visitation for Corporal Roush is scheduled for Sunday from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, and Monday from 12:00 to 2:00
pm and then again from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.

A funeral will be held Tuesday at 11:00 at Middleville's First Baptist Church.

                      http://www.wwmt.com/video/?videoId=34950620001&pl
                      ay=now

                      Remembering a fallen soldier
                      August 25, 2009 5:03 PM
                      http://www.wwmt.com/video/?videoId=35278936001&lineupId=
                      &play=now

WEST MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – On Tuesday, many across West Michigan stopped to remember
22-year-old Corporal Nick Roush. Roush was killed on August 16th, the victim of a roadside bomb in the
western part of Afghanistan. His body returned on Friday to a hero's welcome.

On Tuesday, hundreds gathered to pay their last respects and say goodbye to a West Michigan hero. It was
unforgettable day for many in Middleville, and as people said their goodbyes, it was what Corporal Roush
said in his own letters that brought everybody to tears.

There wasn't enough room inside the church for everyone who wanted to hear the memories of a soldier's
life. "You will find that he was a believer in Jesus Christ, loved his country,"said Pastor Robert Roush, Nick's
grandfather. Corporal Roush left behind many who cared about him, including his fiancée Kaleigh.

In a letter, Roush wrote, "I will return to you Kaleigh, I promise you that, but if I return with a draped flag then
know that it gives me comfort knowing that your promise to me, that your life, will not be wasted without
me."
Tuesday saw a two-hour remembrance of Corporal Roush, then his body went to his final resting place at
Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Corporal Roush's best friend on the battlefield accompanied his body from Afghanistan and also spoke on
Tuesday. Just outside of the church at Corporal Roush's funeral, 150 American Legion riders stood guard,
holding flags and circling the church.

The riders often come to military funerals to protect the victim's family from any type of interruption or
protest.

"It's a huge, emotional part of me that comes out here, and I'm sure everybody here too that's part of the
Patriot Guard Riders' that comes out here. It's all about the respect and the honor for the person," said
Lawrence Czarnowski, Patriot Guard Rider. All of the riders are former and current military members who
volunteer their time.



Middleville golf coach reflects on fallen soldier Nick Roush's drive
to excel
By The Grand Rapids Press August 26, 2009, 1:21AM

 Remembering a fa
             The thing former Middleville golf coach Tom Fletke remembers most about Nick
Roush is that if he had a poor round of golf, he would waste no time in ironing out the
problem.

Fletke said Roush wasn't necessarily blessed with an overwhelming natural athletic ability, but
he refused to be outworked on the golf course, adding he worked hard to improve his game
during two varsity seasons at Middleville in 2003 and '04.
"If he didn't shoot as well as he wanted, he would go back and work harder at it," Fletke said.

Roush, a member of the U.S. Army's First Psychological Operations Battalion, was killed in
Herat, Afghanistan, on Aug. 16. He was buried in Middleville on Tuesday.
Fletke coached all three Roush brothers, including Bobby and Kyle, on the Trojans golf team.
He described Nick Roush as an excellent player who was the team's No. 1 player, captain and
all-conference honorable mention golfer as a senior.
Fletke recalled Roush playing through a painful cyst on his wrist that would have sidelined
many golfers.

"It hurt him, but he still wanted to play through it," Fletke said. "He loved golf and was willing
to play through it when others may have quit."

He said that after Roush graduated, he worked out in the morning at the high school's
community fitness center to prepare for the Army's requirements for recruits.

"You can definitely say he worked for where he got," Fletke said. "He would put his time in.
For some athletes, it just happens for them. But Nicky had determination and effort. He knew
he had to put the time in."
Middleville assistant golf coach Jim Sprague, who also coached Roush on junior varsity for two
years, said Roush was respected and liked by teammates.
Sprague said Roush was a perfectionist, and that was seen in Roush's passion for restoring
cars. He said Roush was offered a job working on cars but opted for the military instead.

"He wanted to excel at everything he did -- he would hang in there," Sprague said. "He was
laid back and a likeable kid who always knew how to act.

"I was a little surprised that he became so gung-ho and wanted to go in the special forces.
But he was the kind of kid our country needs. He would risk his life to do what the
government asked of him. I have nothing but admiration and respect for him."

Editorial: Historic photo, profound loss shown in Middleville
soldier's casket returning home
By John Phipps August 21, 2009, 12:00PM
                                                                                       AP PhotoAn
                    Army carry team carries a transfer case containing the body of Army Cpl. Nicholas
                    R. Roush, of MIddleville, Monday at Dover Air Force Base, Del. According to the
                    Department of Defense, Roush, 22, died Aug. 16 in Herat, Afghanistan, of wounds
                    suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

Nicholas Roush, the special operations Army corporal from Middleville killed in Afghanistan on Sunday,
was the first soldier from this region to have his flag-draped casket photographed at Deleware's Dover
Air Force base since the military lifted an 18-year-ban on the practice. President George H.W. Bush in
1991 put the ban in place during the Persian Gulf War, and Pentagon officials lifted the ban in April.
Families now are able to choose whether to have the Dover ceremony photographed.
Three soldiers salute. Six other soldiers carry a flag-draped coffin. Above them, on a dark tarmac,
looms the military plane that bore the casket home.

The casket carried the remains of 22-year-old Nicholas Roush of Middleville, a special operations soldier
killed Sunday in an explosion in Herat, Afghanistan. The poignant picture instantly conveyed the story
of Corporal Roush's sacrifice and courage, his family's profound loss and the touching and authentic
way the military honors its own when the bodies of soldiers first touch the soil of the country they died
to protect.

Behind the image is another story. In April, the Obama administration lifted an 18-year ban on media
photographing caskets of war dead returning to Dover, replacing it with a policy allowing families to
decide whether the gripping military ceremony may be documented.
President George H.W. Bush in 1991 put the ban in place during the Persian Gulf War.

Many newspapers advocated for a change, including The Press and some military newspapers such as
the Army Times. The new policy honors the choices of grieving families, when in military life so many
decisions are made for them. The policy ensures the human toll of war is not shielded from view. While
photos of flag-draped coffins don't show us what war is, or why our soldiers are fighting, they honor the
ultimate sacrifice military men and women make for this country.

These are good and important ideals. For a family in grief, of course, these points are remote when the
pain is so real.

Nicholas Roush was the first soldier from this region to die since the ban was lifted, and his parents
were the first from our area to approve a photograph being taken. His father and mother were
uncertain at first how to handle the photograph question from the Army, but in the end decided that
documenting the event was right for them.

"It's unbelievable what these guys do for us -- what they volunteer to do for us," Bob Roush, Nicholas'
father, said through tears. "It's way too easy to forget."

This country is now eight years into the war on terror, with 5,046 U.S. casualties in Iraq and
Afghanistan.

The photo on the front page helps people in West Michigan -- and everywhere in the world --
remember what Nicholas Roush and thousands more have given.
It is no ordinary photo. It is the picture of sacrifice.

Father calls son’s death ‘devastating’

The Associated Press

MIDDLEVILLE, Mich. — The father of a Middleville soldier killed in Afghanistan says dealing with
his son’s death has been “devastating.”
The Department of Defense announced Aug. 17 that 22-year-old Cpl. Nicholas R. Roush died Aug
16 in Herat, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near
his vehicle. Roush was a Thornapple-Kellogg High School graduate.

Bob Roush tells The Grand Rapids Press his son “wanted to serve” and “do something significant,”
he and believes he “has done that and more.”

He says the family is “counting on seeing Nick in heaven.”

Nicholas Roush was assigned to the 1st Psychological Operations Battalion, 4th Psychological
Operations Group, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Middleville is about 125 miles west-northwest of Detroit.

Flags at half-staff for fallen soldier

The Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Jennifer Granholm has ordered that U.S. flags in Michigan be flown at
half-staff to honor a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.

Flags should be lowered Aug. 25 for Army Cpl. Nicholas R. Roush of Middleville. The 22-year-old
died Aug. 16 from injuries sustained in Herat when an improvised explosive device detonated near
his vehicle.

Roush was assigned to the 1st Psychological Operations Battalion, 4th Psychological Operations
Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.

August 19, 2009 American Hero: Cpl. Nicholas R. Roush, 22, of Middleville, Michigan DoD
Identifies Army Casualty




The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring
Freedom.

Cpl. Nicholas R. Roush, 22, of Middleville, Mich., died Aug 16 in Herat, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered
when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

 He was assigned to the 1st Psychological Operations Battalion, 4th Psychological Operations Group
(Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.

Body of Cpl. Nick Roush to arrive at Ford Airport
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WZZM) - The body of Cpl. Nick Roush is expected to arrive at the Gerald R. Ford
International Airport, today at 4pm. His body will be taken from the airport to the First Baptist Church in
Middleville.

For those wishing to pay their respect along the road, the route is as follows: south on Patterson Ave. from
the airport to 52nd Street, east on 52nd St. to Kraft Ave., south on Kraft Ave. to Broadmoor Ave. (M-37),
south on M-37 through Caledonia to Barry County Line continuing to the First Baptist Church, 5215 North
M37, north of Middleville.

22-year-old Roush was a member of the Army's Elite Special Operations Force. He was serving in
Afghanistan where he was killed by an "IED", improvised explosive device.

His father, Robert Roush, says his son wanted to do something significant with his life.
"Nicky had everything going for him, everything," he says. "Everything he touched he was a success at. He
could have done anything and he chose to serve."

Robert Roush says people forget America is fighting a war in Afghanistan, and worse, he says many don't
care.

Visitation is being held at the First Baptist Church of Middleville, MI on Sunday, August 23 from 5 to 8 p.m.
and Monday, August 24 from 12 to 2 and 5 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be Tuesday, August 25 at 11 a.m.
Interment with full military honors will take place at Mount Hope Cemetery.

                     http://www.wzzm13.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=112758&cati
                     d=2




Born: January 19, 1987
Died: August 16, 2009 in Herat, Afghanistan


Cpl. Nicholas R. Roush of Middleville, Michigan is the son of Donna Mae Huisman and Robert
Graham, Jr. He attended Thornapple-Kellogg High School where he was a grounded student.
While still in high school, Nicky bought a 1995 Eagle Talon and spent countless hours with his
dad late into the night restoring the car. Known as Nick, or Nicky to his family and friends, he
enlisted in the Army under a five year program. In order to show his commitment, he
developed language skills, and upped his weight. His inspiration came from the book, ‘Chosen
Soldiers.’ Nicky deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in April 2009 as a
member of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan. This was his first
deployment in support of the War on Terror and first deployment to Afghanistan. He was a
Psychological Operations specialist. He was a Psychological Operations specialist. His military
education includes the Warriors Leaders Course, Basic Noncommissioned Officers Course, and
the Basic Airborne Course. His awards and decorations include two National Defense Service
Medals, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two NCO
Professional Development Ribbons, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge
and Parachutist Badge. Nicholas is survived by his mother Donna Roush, father Robert Roush
and brothers, Robert Roush III and Kyle. He also leaves his fiancee’, Kaleigh. Nicholas died at
age 22 in Herat, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device
detonated near his vehicle.


Army
1st Psychological Operations Battalion
4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne)
Fort Bragg, North Carolina


Burial is at Mount Hope Cemetery in Middleville, Michigan
                   Pfc. Eric W. Hario




                   Hometown: Monroe, Michigan, U.S.

                   Age: 19 years old

                   Died: August 29, 2009 in Operation Enduring Freedom.

                   Unit: Army, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

                   Incident: Died Aug. 29 in Paktika province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained
                   when they were shot by enemy forces Aug. 28 while conducting combat
                   operations.


Monroe soldier dies in combat
PFC Hario, a 2008 Monroe grad, died in Afghanistan
Updated: Friday, 25 Sep 2009, 12:20 AM EDT
Published : Sunday, 30 Aug 2009, 10:56 PM EDT

MONROE, Mich. - A 19-year-old soldier from Monroe, Mich., who arrived recently in Afghanistan
with his Army's regiment, died Friday, Aug. 28, the U.S. Department of Defense said Sunday.

Private First Class Eric Hario, 19, was a 2008 graduate of Monroe High School and an Army
Ranger.

He had been in Afghanistan for less than month. Pfc Hario died in Paktika province in Afghanistan,
the Department of Defense said.

According to the Dept. of the Army, Pfc. Hario was seriously wounded by small arms fire during the
attack and was medically evacuated to a combat support hospital near the Paktika Province.

Pfc Hario was a special forces soldier assigned to 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at
Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Ga. Also killed was 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Jason Dahlke of
Orlando, Fla. The Pentagon said they were shot Friday in combat.

“Staff Sgt. Dahlke and Pfc. Hario are heroes to their nation, the U.S. Army and their Families,” said
Col. Michael E. Kurilla, 75th Ranger Regiment commander said in a media release. “They
embodied the Ranger Creed and all that is good, noble and honored in our Rangers.”

Pfc Hario, a student-athlete who was on the Trojans varsity football team last gall, was best known
for his work ethic both on and off the field friends and teachers said Monday.

The Trojan football team has decided the 2009 fall season in his honor.

"He paid the ultimate sacrifice I don't think there's anything we can do to honor him enough," said
Stage Polzzi, Monroe High School football head coach.
Many teachers, coaches and students learned about Hario's death after Saturday's football game.

"He was the kind of guy everyone knew and liked," said Scott Pitcher, Eric's friend. "Everyone took
it hard. We all know he was joining the Army. It was what he wanted to do. No one expected the
guy that you grew up and joked with, no one expected this."

Former and current classmates created a special Facebook page honoring the solider. The
school's football team has dedicated the 2009 season to Hario. They will wear an Army Ranger
patch on their uniforms.

Hario's remains arrived early Monday at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Funeral arrangements
are pending.

According to the 1/75th's Fallen Ranger Memorial Web site, Pfc Hario and SSgt Dahlke are the
31st and 32nd Ranger to die from the battalion since 1976 and the fourth and fifth Ranger from the
unit to die in Afghanistan since 2002. Both soldiers have yet to be added to the memorial
webpage.

Dahlke was on his sixth deployment in support of the War on Terror with three previous
deployments to Iraq and two deployments to Afghanistan. This was Hario’s first deployment.

The Army said Pfc. Hario is survived by his parents Rebecca and James Hario and a brother Mark
of Monroe, Mich., and brother U.S. Army Spc. Robert Hario.

(FOX Toledo's Michelle Zepeda and The Associated Press contributed to this report)

http://www.foxtoledo.com/dpp/news/local/wupw083009_Soldier_dies_in_Afghanistan

'He did not die in vain'
by Charles Slat , last modified September 08. 2009 11:07AM


The words "hero" and "Hario" were used interchangeably Monday as Monroe County laid to rest Pfc. Eric
W. Hario, a 19-year-old Army Ranger from Monroe who died in a fierce battle in the mountains of eastern
Afghanistan late last month.

Pfc. Hario was buried with full military honors at Roselawn Memorial Park in a ceremony that drew
hundreds.

"He did not fight in vain. He did not die in vain," said Chaplain Dave Bowles of the 75th Ranger Regiment.
He described Pfc. Hario as a soldier who fought for his flag and country and who set a fine example for
everyone.

The chaplain said Eric, the son of James and Rebecca Hario of Monroe, was the first member of the 75th
Ranger Regiment from Michigan to die in the Afghan war. He was shot in the neck in the early stages of a
fierce 20-hour firefight in a mountainous area of eastern Afghanistan, Army officials said.

Chaplain Bowles said Pfc. Hario "gave 100 percent and then some as he served with America’s most elite
infantry unit, the Army Rangers."

As the procession of about 100 vehicles traveled down S. Dixie Hwy. to the cemetery, people lined the
street along the route, holding hands over their hearts, saluting, doffing their hats, holding signs or waving
flags.

A bagpiper and the traditional 21-gun salute were part of the graveside ceremony at the LaSalle cemetery
as somber-faced soldiers folded the flag that draped Pfc. Hario’s silver casket and presented it to his
mother. Pfc. Hario’s older brother, Robert, an Army specialist, stood and saluted as "Taps" was bugled.
Throngs of mourners surrounded the gravesite near the boughs of a spreading shade tree at the cemetery
as an overcast sky periodically shed tear-sized drops of rain.

Earlier, during a funeral Mass at St. Mary Catholic Church in Monroe, Pfc. Hario was described as a hero
who always dreamed of becoming a soldier.

"Pfc. Eric Hario is one of our nation’s heroes," Col. Michael (Erik) Kurilla, 75th Regiment commander, told
those attending the funeral. "He died fighting our nation’s enemies in the mountains of Afghanistan."

He died while fighting an enemy that is "ideologically opposed to everything we stand for," Col. Kurilla said.
"Let us thank God that such men as Eric have lived."

The Rev. Marc Gawronski of St. Mary said that Pfc. Hario was living his lifelong dream. "Eric had a dream to
become a soldier. From the age of 5, that’s what he wanted to do. He never lost sight of that dream. He
made that dream come true and he did everything he could to pursue that dream.

"He died living that dream and protecting his country. Eric has become our hero and for that we will always
be grateful."

He said the young soldier was an inspiration to all who pursue their dreams.

"He showed us what it takes to live one’s dream," he said. "Even though that dream challenged his mind,
body and spirit, he stayed true to that dream."

The Rev. Gawronski also drew a comparison between Pfc. Hario’s love of country to God’s love – "the love
that lays down its life for us all."

During the funeral, the Rev. Gawronski read a letter written by Mrs. Hario, who tearfully sat nearby.

Described as a last letter to her dead son, she recalled how his love of sports — he was in varsity wrestling
and football in high school — helped prepare him to be a Ranger. He was strong and would move furniture
in the house when needed, cart in groceries, and she remembered when he lifted her on his shoulder and
carried her around.

"You were a wonderful young man. Everyone who knew you loved you," she wrote.

When he became part of the elite Rangers, she thought, "My goodness, at 19 my son has met his life’s
goal."

She also recalled the dread when Army officers came to her door early on the morning of Aug. 29 to inform
her of her son’s death.

"It was like time had stopped," she wrote. "It quickly turned into the worst day of our life."

In the letter, Mrs. Hario also described how she spoke with Eric on the phone the night before he went into
the fateful battle.

He had told her "no matter what happens, I love you all very much and, Mom, you are always in my heart."

She also had a message for parents attending the funeral: "No matter what age your children are, make
sure you hug them tight and tell them you love them each day because, as we know from our experience
here, we never know when their last day will be."

Hundreds of mourners paid their respects to the soldier during two days of visitation at Rupp Funeral Home.
Among them was U.S. Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Dearborn, who visited Saturday and said he was deeply
saddened by the young man’s death. The funeral home was surrounded by 50 large American flags posted
by a contingent of motorcyclists from the Patriot Guard Riders. The group attends funerals around the
region, and its members held the large flags outside the church during the funeral.

Pfc. Hario’s friends, classmates and teachers, as well as the Monroe High School football team dressed in
their red-and-white jerseys, attended the funeral. Expressions of sorrow and sympathy abounded.
Monroe High students painted the school’s "Spirit Rock" near the school’s parking lot entrance in a
camouflage design that said "R.I.P. Eric Hario." Spray-painted on the parking lot was "We miss you, Eric
Hario."

Vehicles in the funeral procession were adorned with sayings, including one that said, "A brave soldier and
loyal friend. We will miss you."




Evening News photo by BRYAN BOSCH With her husband, James, at her side Rebecca Hario of Monroe
(right) clutches the flag that draped her son Pfc. Eric Hario's casket during Monday's burial at Roselawn
Memorial Park in LaSalle.
Article published September 08, 2009

Fallen Monroe soldier laid to rest
Emotional service honors Army Ranger killed in Afghanistan

By MEGHAN GILBERT
BLADE STAFF WRITER

MONROE - Army Pfc. Eric Hario was remembered Monday as a loving person and heroic soldier as he was
laid to rest.
Private Hario, a 19-year-old Army Ranger from Monroe, died Aug. 29 in a firefight in a mountainous area of
Afghanistan.

"Understanding that he was called to serve, he gave 100 percent and then some as he served with
America's most elite infantry unit, the Army Rangers," Maj. Dave Bowlus, an Army chaplain, said during the
graveside service at Roselawn Memorial Park in LaSalle, Mich.

"Fully knowing the hazards of his chosen profession, he faithfully upheld the prestige, honor, and high esprit
de corps of his Ranger regiment."

Major Bowlus asked Private Hario's family and friends to use the memory and example he set to strengthen
them. "Take your memories of Eric, tuck them in your heart, and live at a higher level of life as you
remember his sacrifice, love for life and country, and his faith," he said.




  A Patriot Guard Rider holds a flag during the funeral of Eric Hario at St. Mary Catholic Church in Monroe.
               The riders gather at funerals of fallen service members to show their respect.


The emotional burial service, complete with the playing of "Taps" and traditional rifle volley, followed a
private Mass in St. Mary Church in Monroe.

The Rev. Marc Gawronski, pastor of the church where the Hario family has attended for years, said a
wealth of emotions surrounded Private Hario's tragic and sudden death.
The Hario family declined to comment yesterday.
Father Gawronski spoke of Eric living his dream of being a soldier and the sacrifice he made in the pursuit
of that dream.

"To live a dream takes a great deal of determination and courage and commitment, and that's what Eric
showed in his life," he said. "Now we have to live a dream, to keep on living and hoping. And that's going to
take courage and commitment on our part as well."

There was a real mix of feelings from deep sadness to great hope, Father Gawronski said, and much of that
hope was in the large number of young people honoring the fallen soldier.

The Monroe High School football team was there in their red jerseys to pay respects to Private Hario, who
was a football player and wrestler at the high school.

"The football team is like a family and we believe that family comes first," football coach Steve Pollzzie said.
"It's important we support all our players, now and in the past. We need to be there for each other."

Former teammates Dylan Beason and Colton Zimmerman, who both graduated in 2009, a year after Private
Hario, said they will remember him as their teammate who always talked about his dream of becoming a
soldier.

"I'm proud, but sad," Mr. Beason said. "It makes me feel better that he went loving what he did, but it's hard
to say good-bye."

Mr. Zimmerman echoed those comments, saying Private Hario was the type of person who would do
anything for anybody.

"I'm here today thinking about growing up with him and playing football and all that, and knowing that this is
the last time I will see him," he said.

Private Hario was an inspiration to Scott Livermore, who looked up to him and decided to join the Army
because of him.

Scott, 16, was a freshman in high school when Private Hario was a senior. At first Scott was looking at
joining the Marine Corps, but after listening to Eric talk about the Army, he decided that was for him too.

Private Hario was going to help him train to be ready by graduation, young Livermore said, getting
emotional.

"He was too young to die," he said. "It was too soon."

Private Hario's death has renewed young Livermore's desire to serve his country.
"It makes me want to do it more," he said. "Do it for him. Honor him and honor our country."
The greater Monroe community also came out to honor Private Hario, as did dozens of Patriot Guard Riders
from across the area.

The Patriot Guard Riders gather at funerals of fallen service members to show their respect for those who
serve.

Roger Barker of Erie and other Patriot Guard Riders lined Elm Avenue outside the church with large
American flags.

"We're here for all our fallen heroes," Mr. Barker said. "We're here to respect them and pay tribute to them,
to Private Hario and everyone else who paid the ultimate sacrifice."
Jan Gillissee of Kentwood, Mich., made the trip yesterday to pay her respects to Private Hario, even though
she didn't know him.

All she knew was that he was a fallen soldier and deserved to be honored.

Her nephew, Sgt. Rick Herrema, was killed in action in April, 2006, and having the Patriot Guard Riders and
others supporting the military really helped the family during his funeral service.
"It just meant everything. It was a blessing from God to know that people care and support our servicemen,"
she said. "I'm here today to continue to show that support."

Ms. Gillissee held a large sign yesterday that read, "Home of the free because of the brave," displaying it
until all the cars left the church for the cemetery.
Contact Meghan Gilbert at: mgilbert@theblade.com or 419-724-6134.


Army Pfc. Eric W. Hario
Died August 29, 2009 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom


19, of Monroe, Mich.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.; died
Aug. 29 in Paktika province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when he was shot by enemy forces Aug. 28
while conducting combat operations.

Flags lowered in memory of Hario

The Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Jennifer Granholm has ordered that U.S. flags in Michigan be flown at half-staff to
honor a soldier from Monroe who was killed in Afghanistan.

Granholm’s office says flags should be lowered Sept. 9 for 19-year-old Army Pfc. Eric W. Hario. He died
Aug. 28 from injuries sustained from small arms fire in Paktika province, Afghanistan.

Hario was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

Area soldier dies in Afghanistan
by Paula Wethington , last modified August 31. 2009 8:47AM


Army Pfc. Eric W. Hario, 19, of Monroe died while serving in the military in Afghanistan.

His mother, Rebecca Hario, got the formal notice from military representatives at 6 a.m. Saturday. His
father, James, was out of town at the time but since has returned home.

Funeral arrangements have not been made yet, and his family doesn't know the details involved in his
death. Word spread fast Saturday to friends, former classmates and coaches at Monroe High School. Pfc.
Hario was a 2008 graduate of MHS and had played both football and wrestled.

"It's the worst news — something you don't want to hear," said MHS football coach Steve Pollzzie, who
coached Pfc. Hario on the freshman football team.

Mr. Pollzzie and MHS athletic director John Ray were among those who learned about the news at the
Monroe High School-Adrian High School game at Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti. Also on Saturday,
friends and classmates were posting messages on Facebook such as "Rest always in peace Eric."

"There's so many people who knew him," Mrs. Hario said. "We were getting calls from high school friends
asking, 'Is it true?' "

Pfc. Hario had been stationed at Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Ga., and was serving overseas with the
75th Ranger Regiment, First Battalion. He joined the military about two weeks after high school graduation.
"He wanted to be a soldier probably since he was 5," Mrs. Hario said.

In a 2003 Monroe Evening News article, Eric, then 13, was quoted as looking up to his oldest brother,
Robert, who then was serving in the Army in Iraq. Robert still is in the Army and holds the rank of specialist.
Another brother, Mark, is in college. Other family members include two dogs, including Jake, of whom Pfc.
Hario was especially fond.

Mr. Pollzzie said Eric played both offensive and defensive lineman positions in football and was in the
program in the ninth through 12th grades. He also was known in high school for his interest in fitness and
weightlifting. "He was a great, great kid, great student," Mr. Pollzzie said. "Just a funny kid. He got along
with everybody." "He was always very friendly and likeable," Mrs. Hario said.
Parents describe Pfc. Hario as committed to the Army
by Ray Kisonas , last modified August 31. 2009 11:28AM


Despite the dangers that awaited him, Army Pfc. Eric W. Hario of Monroe knew he wanted to be a Ranger
because he was committed to excellence.

And when he achieved his goal, his confidence is his abilities only got stronger.

"He was on top of the world," his mother, Becky, said this morning. "He was always so sure of himself."

On Friday, Pfc. Hario, 19, a 2008 Monroe High School graduate, was shot in the neck during a mission in
the Paktika Province of Afghanistan. A medic attended to him immediately, but he died in the helicopter
during emergency evacuation to a hospital.

"He always strived to be the best," Mrs. Hario said. "He wanted to be a Ranger because they're the best.
Rangers all the way. He was on top of the world. He was always so sure of himself."

The news came Saturday when two members of the military approached the family home where an
American flag hangs near the front door. At first Mrs. Hario wasn't sure who the two dark figures were
standing outside.

As soon as she saw the dress uniforms, she knew.

"They don't come to give you good news," she said. "It's not even real to us."

A Monroe High School football player and wrestler, Pfc. Hario always was going to be a soldier, his parents
said. Ever since he was a youngster, it was evident that their youngest of three boys was going to dedicate
himself to his country.

As he got older, he enjoyed playing video games with military themes. He had a large American flag
hanging in his bedroom, his parents said.

He enlisted when he was 17 and began basic training on July 5, 2008, at Fort Benning, Ga. He then
finished his training as a Ranger. He was an infantryman assigned to the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger
Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

Though they knew their son would be placed in dangerous situations, his parents always supported his
decisions.

"I told my sons to follow their dreams," his father, James, said. "He was very committed."

"I felt really proud and scared at the same time," Mrs. Hario added.
Their oldest son, Spc. Robert Hario, 25, also is in the Army and is stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado
Springs, Colo. He and his family are expected home tonight. Their middle son, Mark, 22, is a student at
Monroe County Community College.

Arrangements still are pending, but the Harios believe the funeral will not be held until next week. His flag-
draped casket arrived today in the United States.

The Army released a statement stating that Pfc. Hario was mortally wounded during a combat operation on
his first deployment "in support of the Global War on Terror." The battle lasted more than 20 hours.

Pfc. Hario's decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and the Parachutist Badge.

"As a Ranger, Pfc. Eric William Hario distinguished himself as a member of the Army's premier light-infantry
unit, traveled to all corners of the world in support of the Global War on Terrorism, and fought valiantly to
uphold the prestige, honor, and high 'esprit de corps' of the Ranger Regiment," the statement said.

Pfc. Hario had been deployed to Afghanistan only about three weeks ago, something his parents knew
would happen.

"If you're a Ranger, you're going to Afghanistan," Mr. Hario said. "It was just a matter of time."

His parents know little of the firefight that claimed their son's life. They only know that he was on a mission
and was struck down almost immediately after stepping off a helicopter. A second soldier was killed and
three others were wounded. However, Mrs. Hario said she heard that the insurgents were overtaken during
the long fight.

"Apparently they got what they deserved," she said.

It was only a day or two before the deadly battle that Mrs. Hario spoke to her son, a young man she
described as funny, committed and happy. It was during that conversation that she felt her son had a
premonition. She said he always spoke openly to her and she had an instinct that he was concerned about
this mission.

It was the last time she spoke to him.

"I think he knew," Mrs. Hario said. "He said, 'I love you all very much. You're always in my heart.' "

http://www.truveo.com/search?query=Pfc.%20Eric%20W.%20Hario&flv=1#Pfc.%20Eric%20W.%20Ha
rio%20

http://www.clipsyndicate.com/video/playlist/13492/1085988?cpt=8&title=truveo_full_feed&wpid=2541

September 4, 2009 - Friday
   Army Ranger Eric Hario and Ranger Dahlke Killed in Action Aug 28, 2009
   Current mood:     angry
   Category: News and Politics




     Parents describe Pfc. Hario as committed to the Army
     by Ray Kisonas , last modified August 31. 2009 11:28AM

     Despite the dangers that awaited him, Army Pfc. Eric W. Hario of Monroe knew he wanted
     to be a Ranger because he was committed to excellence.
And when he achieved his goal, his confidence is his abilities only got stronger.

"He was on top of the world," his mother, Becky, said this morning. "He was always so
sure of himself."

On Friday, Pfc. Hario, 19, a 2008 Monroe High School graduate, was shot in the neck
during a mission in the Paktika Province of Afghanistan. A medic attended to him
immediately, but he died in the helicopter during emergency evacuation to a hospital.

"He always strived to be the best," Mrs. Hario said. "He wanted to be a Ranger because
they're the best. Rangers all the way. He was on top of the world. He was always so sure
of himself."

The news came Saturday when two members of the military approached the family home
where an American flag hangs near the front door. At first Mrs. Hario wasn't sure who the
two dark figures were standing outside.

As soon as she saw the dress uniforms, she knew.

"They don't come to give you good news," she said. "It's not even real to us."

A Monroe High School football player and wrestler, Pfc. Hario always was going to be a
soldier, his parents said. Ever since he was a youngster, it was evident that their
youngest of three boys was going to dedicate himself to his country.

As he got older, he enjoyed playing video games with military themes. He had a large
American flag hanging in his bedroom, his parents said.

He enlisted when he was 17 and began basic training on July 5, 2008, at Fort Benning,
Ga. He then finished his training as a Ranger. He was an infantryman assigned to the 1st
Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

Though they knew their son would be placed in dangerous situations, his parents always
supported his decisions.

"I told my sons to follow their dreams," his father, James, said. "He was very committed."

"I felt really proud and scared at the same time," Mrs. Hario added.

Their oldest son, Spc. Robert Hario, 25, also is in the Army and is stationed at Fort Carson
in Colorado Springs, Colo. He and his family are expected home tonight. Their middle son,
Mark, 22, is a student at Monroe County Community College.

Arrangements still are pending, but the Harios believe the funeral will not be held until
next week. His flag-draped casket arrived today in the United States.

The Army released a statement stating that Pfc. Hario was mortally wounded during a
combat operation on his first deployment "in support of the Global War on Terror." The
battle lasted more than 20 hours.

Pfc. Hario's decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and the Parachutist
Badge.

"As a Ranger, Pfc. Eric William Hario distinguished himself as a member of the Army's
premier light-infantry unit, traveled to all corners of the world in support of the Global
War on Terrorism, and fought valiantly to uphold the prestige, honor, and high 'esprit de
corps' of the Ranger Regiment," the statement said.

Pfc. Hario had been deployed to Afghanistan only about three weeks ago, something his
parents knew would happen.

"If you're a Ranger, you're going to Afghanistan," Mr. Hario said. "It was just a matter of
time."

His parents know little of the firefight that claimed their son's life. They only know that he
   was on a mission and was struck down almost immediately after stepping off a helicopter.
   A second soldier was killed and three others were wounded. However, Mrs. Hario said she
   heard that the insurgents were overtaken during the long fight.

   "Apparently they got what they deserved," she said.

   It was only a day or two before the deadly battle that Mrs. Hario spoke to her son, a
   young man she described as funny, committed and happy. It was during that
   conversation that she felt her son had a premonition. She said he always spoke openly to
   her and she had an instinct that he was concerned about this mission.

   It was the last time she spoke to him.

   "I think he knew," Mrs. Hario said. "He said, 'I love you all very much. You're always in
   my heart.' "


   FORT BRAGG, NC — Two Army Rangers died earlier this week during combat operations in
   Paktika Province, Afghanistan while serving with Company A, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger
   Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

   Staff Sgt. Jason Sean Dahlke, 29, a native of Orlando, Fla., died during an attack by a
   Ranger task force on an enemy position, Aug. 29. He served in the Regiment for more
   than four years. He is survived by his wife Nikole M. Norvell Dahlke of Richmond Hill, Ga.,
   father Roger Dahlke of Jacksonville, Fla., and mother Debra Evans.

   Pfc. Eric William Hario, 19, was seriously wounded by small arms fire during the attack
   and was medically evacuated to a combat support hospital near the Paktika Province
   where he died Aug. 29. He was a native of Monroe, Mich., and served in the Regiment for
   less than a year. He is survived by his parents Rebecca and James Hario and a brother
   Mark of Monroe, Mich., and brother U.S. Army Spc. Robert Hario.

   The Ranger task force attacked a vigorously defended enemy command and control node
   and logistics base in a rugged, remote, contested mountainous area, according to official
   reports. After fighting for nearly 20 hours, the Ranger task force killed more than 30
   enemy fighters, several enemy leaders, destroyed the command and control node and
   logistics base while capturing numerous heavy weapons.

   “Staff Sgt. Dahlke and Pfc. Hario are heroes to their nation, the U.S. Army and their
   Families,” said Col. Michael E. Kurilla, 75th Ranger Regiment commander. “They
   embodied the Ranger Creed and all that is good, noble and honored in our Rangers.”

   Dahlke was on his sixth deployment in support of the War on Terror with three previous
   deployments to Iraq and two deployments to Afghanistan. This was Hario’s first
   deployment.


   May you Rest in Peace Ranger Hario & Ranger Dahlke, and may your deaths not
   be in vein, you will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!!!
   The price for Freedom is never Free
   Rangers Lead the Way!!!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1Hkdq8_xcs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5P5vFpnb0k&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSrYOXlDFyw&feature=fvw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45wwCPW4xxk&feature=channel


Born: December 9, 1989 in Monroe, Michigan
Died: August 29, 2009 in Paktika, Afghanistan
Pfc. Eric W. Hario of Monroe Michigan was a 2008 graduate of Monroe High School where he
played both football and wrestling and lettered in both. He also enjoyed weight lifting. His
dream was to serve in the United States Army and about two weeks after graduation he
enlisted in June 2008. He completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning Georgia as an
infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course there, he was assigned to the
Ranger Indoctrination Program also at Fort Benning. Upon graduation from the Ranger
Indoctrination Program, he was assigned to Company A, 1st Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment in
January 2009 where he served as a grenadier. Eric was on top of the world serving as a
Ranger. It had been his dream since elementary school. As he got older, he enjoyed playing
video games with military themes and he had a large American flag hanging in his bedroom.
Eris was committed to the Army and he had the knowledge and the confidence to be the very
best. His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course and the Ranger Indoctrination
Program. His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War
on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and the Parachutist Badge. He is survived
by his parents Rebecca and James Hario, and brother Mark of Monroe, and brother U.S. Army
Spc. Robert Hario. Eric died at age 19 while serving in the military in Afghanistan.


Army
1st Battalion
75th Ranger Regiment
Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia


Burial is at Roselawn Memorial Cemetery in La Salle, Michigan




                  Petty Officer 3rd Class Benjamin P. Castiglione




                  Hometown: Howell, Michigan, U.S.

                  Age: 21 years old

                  Died: September 3, 2009 in Operation Enduring Freedom.

                  Unit: Marines, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine
                  Expeditionary Battalion

                  Incident: Died while supporting combat operations in Helmand province,
                  Afghanistan.
- Petty Officer 3rd Class Benjamin P. Castiglione, 21, of Howell, Michigan

The Department of Defense announced the death of a sailor who was supporting Operation Enduring
Freedom.
           Petty Officer 3rd Class Benjamin P. Castiglione, 21, of Howell, Mich., died Sept. 3 while
supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Light Armored
Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Battalion.

Corpsman with 2nd LAR killed in Afghanistan

Staff report

A Navy corpsman was killed Sept. 3 while supporting Marines in southern Afghanistan, according
to the Defense Department.

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Benjamin P. Castiglione, 21, of Howell, Mich., died after being struck
by an improvised explosive in Helmand province, his family told local media. Units from the 2nd
Marine Expeditionary Brigade have been operating in Helmand and neighboring provinces since
the spring. He was assigned to 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion out of Camp
Lejeune.

Castiglione was the subject of a February feature story in the Daily Press & Argus, his hometown
newspaper. At the time, his father described the corpsman as a “gung-ho, John Wayne type of
guy.”

Just a few months before that article was published, Castiglione had received a Navy and Marine
Corps Achievement Medal for actions in Iraq. His commander, Col. R.E. Smith, singled out the
sailor’s quick actions after one Marine in the unit had been stung by a scorpion and, again, in the
wake of a car wreck involving Iraqi civilians near Combat Outpost Rio Lobo.

“The military life is not easy,” Castiglione told the newspaper last winter, “but I believe that I am a
stronger person for it. The hardships I have dealt with were worth what I have learned and the
bonds I have with the Marines in my platoon. When my platoon and I have downtime and talk and
mess around with each other, it’s like one big hilarious, dysfunctional family — and it’s a blast. We
take care of each other.”

Castiglione joined the Navy in 2006. He aspired to be a physician’s assistant.

Flags lowered in memory of Michigan sailor

The Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Jennifer Granholm has ordered that U.S. flags in Michigan be flown at
half-staff to honor a sailor from Howell who was killed in Afghanistan.

Granholm says flags should be lowered Sept. 21 for Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Benjamin P.
Castiglione, 21. He served as a hospitalman, the Navy equivalent of an Army medic.

Castiglione died Sept. 3 from injuries sustained while supporting combat operations in Helmand
province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd
Marine Expeditionary Battalion.

Corpsman joined Navy out of high school
The Associated Press

Benjamin P. Castiglione was unfazed even by a scorpion. He helped civilians and comrades in the
Afghan and Iraqi war zones as a medic in the Navy, once treating an unconscious Marine having
breathing and heart problems after being stung by the desert-dwelling creature.

“Those Marines meant the world to him,” said his mother, Carrie Castiglione. “I talked to him before
he went to Iraq about preparing himself for losing one if he had to. He said, ‘Mom, I’m bringing all
those guys home.’ ”

Instead, they lost him in Afghanistan.

Castiglione, 21, of Howell, Mich., was killed Sept. 3 by an improvised explosive in Helmand
province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune, N.C.

He graduated from Howell High School in 2006 and joined the Navy that November. He served in
Iraq for eight months last year and deployed to Afghanistan in June.

He wanted to continue medical work and planned to become a physician’s assistant. He also was
looking forward to going to Germany or Hawaii when his deployment ended in November, his
parents said.

He died one day after talking about those plans with his family.

Castiglione is also survived by three stepbrothers.

AOTC #78 Memorial for HM3 Benjamin Castiglione –Posted




http://www.corpsman.com/2009/09/aotc-78-memorial-for-hm3-
benjamin-constiglione/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1Hkdq8_xcs
Benjamin “Ben” P. Castiglione, age 21 of Howell, died September 3, 2009 while serving as a
Corpsman with the U.S. Navy in Afghanistan. He was born March 21, 1988, the beloved son of
Joel (Gloria) Castiglione and Carrie Castiglione of Howell. Also survived by step-brothers, Jordan
Matheny of Howell and Justin and Jason Adams of South Carolina; grandparents, Jim and Fran
Petre, Carol Alder and Betty and Chuck Dere. There are many loving aunts, uncles, cousins,
nieces and nephews. Ben was an avid fisherman, he also enjoyed hunting, snowboarding and
paintball. The family will receive friends on Thursday from 1 – 6 p.m. at MacDonald’s Funeral
Home, Howell (517-546-2800) followed by a reception at the American Legion Club, 3265 W.
Grand River, Howell. Memorial contributions may be made to Corpsman.com, c/o Darrell
Crone, 1501 Wilson Court, Zion, IL 60099.
                   Spec. Paul E. Andersen




                   Hometown: Dowagiac, Michigan, U.S.


                   Age: 49 years old


                   Died: October 1, 2009 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.


                   Unit: Army, 855th Quartermaster Company, South Bend, Ind.


                   Incident: Died in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his camp using indirect fire.


Paul Eugene Andersen

Feb. 25, 1960 - Oct. 1, 2009
SOUTH BEND - Paul Eugene Andersen, 49, passed away on Thursday, October 1, 2009, in Iraq, from indirect fire while
serving his country in the United States Army. Paul was born on February 25, 1960, in Elkhart, IN, to the late Robert
and Virginia (Tribbey) Andersen. On August 28, 2004, he married Linda (Kovacsics) Andersen in Niles, MI, who
survives along with his three daughters, Beth (Daniel) Andersen-Steven of Cleveland, TX, Ariel Wood of Michigan and
April Wood of Michigan; three stepchildren, Robert Klempay of Edwardsburg, MI, JoAnne (Gregory) Jester of South
Bend and Thomas (Emma) Klempay of South Bend; eight grandchildren, Mckenzie Steven, Alexis Ward, Kayla
Thompson, Marisa Jester, David Rhoden, Dominick Rodriquez, Trevor Jester and Aidan Jester. He is also survived by
his seven siblings, Trance Peters of South Bend, Robert (Connie) Anderson of South Bend, Linda Haimbaugh of
Tucson, AZ, Ricky Andersen of South Bend, Randy Andersen of South Bend, Betty Banghart of Mishawaka and Robin
Andersen of Elkhart, IN. Paul was a member of Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church. He joined the U.S. Army
Reserve on August 1, 1985. Paul had a deep sense of duty to his family and his country. His love and courage will
forever live in our hearts. Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. today, Saturday, October 10, 2009, and from 2 to 6 p.m.
on Sunday, October 11, 2009, in ST. JOSEPH FUNERAL HOME, 824 S. Mayflower Road, South Bend, IN. A funeral
service will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Monday, October 12, 2009, in Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church. Burial
will follow at Highland Cemetery, South Bend, IN. Memorial contributions may be made to Army Emergency Relief,
200 Stovall Street, Room 5-N-13, Alexandria, VA 22332-0600. For those who are unable to attend the funeral service,
condolences for the family may be made at www.sjfh.net.

Published in South Bend Tribune from October 8 to October 10, 2009




Updated: 5:34 AM Oct 6, 2009



South Bend soldier dies in Iraq by "indirect gunfire"
Army reservist with long time Michiana ties killed by "indirect gunfire" while serving second time in Iraq.

Posted: 6:12 PM Oct 5, 2009
Reporter: Stephanie Stang
Email Address: stephanie.stang@wndu.com
A South Bend soldier, who was expected to come home in a month, was killed by "indirect gunfire."

49-year-old Specialist Paul Andersen of South Bend died on Thursday.

Andersen was with the Army Reserve's 855th Quartermaster Company based out of South Bend.

He was on his second tour in Iraq. He left in November of 2008.

His unit was responsible for providing laundry and bathing services to a base. Family members say
although he was involved in non-combat related duties they were aware of the dangers involved in the tour.

The specific details on how he was shot haven't been released yet.

"Kind of hard to describe how I feel. I feel numb sometimes, still don't believe he is actually gone," says
Andersen’s wife Linda.

The Michiana native grew up in Elkhart and graduated from Buchanan High School in 1979.

For the past 8 years he had been living and working in South Bend. He was married to his wife for 5 years
and came home for their anniversary. He was working for Curtis Products, a tubing and bending company.

Andersen joined the armed services 24 years ago. Family members say he lived to be in the service and
loved military life.

“I look at in a light that he loved to do it and he was proud to do it. That it is something he wanted to do and
if he was going to leave this world, at least it was something, he left in the manner he was happy doing,”
says Andersen’s step-daughter JoAnne Jester.

Andersen wanted to stay in Iraq for another year. His unit is expected to come back in early November.

Military funeral arrangements are still pending.

Family and friends are already planning on a large turn-out. He leaves behind three adult children and three
adult step-children.


He was an Army manWar in Iraq claims
former Dowagiac resident
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Kalamazoo
BY GABRIELLE RUSSON grusson@kalamazoogazette.com (269) 388-8412

DOWAGIAC -- Paul Andersen wanted to give his grown stepdaughter his riding lawn mower, but it wouldn't
fit in the back of the car.
A spunky man of original ideas and childlike exuberance, Andersen decided to ride the mower several miles
on the side of the road in South Bend, Ind., to deliver it to her house.
Whenever a police car drove by, Andersen pretended to be just a regular neighbor out mowing the grass.
``It was so funny, the look on his face,'' said his wife, Linda Andersen. ``He was pleased and proud as can
be, especially because he got away with it.''
Such funny stories are what Linda Andersen holds on to after her husband was killed last week in Iraq,
about a month before he was supposed to return home.
Andersen, of South Bend and formerly of Dowagiac, died Thursday after his camp was attacked by what
military officials called indirect fire. The Pentagon did not disclose more details of his death Monday. Military
funeral arrangements are still pending.
Andersen, who deployed in November 2008 for his second tour in Iraq, served with the U.S. Army
Reserve's 855th Quartermaster Company, based in South Bend, Linda Andersen said.

Andersen, 49, had three daughters and three stepchildren and had lived with his wife in South Bend for the
past several years.

Family members remembered Andersen as someone who loved tinkering with machines and going
overboard on Christmas lights every year.
He was a devoted grandfather but was young at heart, more like a kid himself, Linda Andersen said.
In April 2004, Andersen had just returned from a one-year deployment to Iraq when he met his future wife.
It was a whirlwind courtship of roses and long walks.
About three months after they met, Andersen proposed. Linda Andersen asked him to repeat the question
three times because she didn't think she'd heard him right.
Three weeks later, they married.
``He's my world, my life, my friend,'' Linda Andersen said.
They both loved country music, old movies and strawberry milkshakes.
Though Andersen valued spending time with his family, he was also a devoted military man who had nearly
25 years with the U.S. Army Reserves under his belt, she said.
Last Thursday, on the day that he died, Andersen asked his wife how she would feel if he redeployed with
another company to Iraq instead of staying home in Indiana. Go ahead, she told him.
``I knew I married an Army man,'' Linda Andersen said. ``I married the Army. That's just the way it is. I have
no regrets.
``I hope he can rest now. He's served our country very well,'' she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Updated: 6:53 PM Oct 12, 2009



South Bend soldier laid to rest with honor
Michiana man with many local ties honored by community and laid to rest after serving nearly half his life.

Posted: 5:25 PM Oct 12, 2009
Reporter: Stephanie Stang
Email Address: stephanie.stang@wndu.com


A Michiana man gave his life serving in the military and now he has been laid to rest.

49-year-old Specialist Paul Andersen died two weeks ago in Iraq. Military officials say he died of indirect
gunfire.

Andersen was a member of the Army Reserve's 855th Quartermaster Company based out of South Bend.

Monday at least one hundred people gathered at Andersen's funeral service in South Bend.

He was laid to rest with full military honors. Two dozen patriot guard members stood outside to pay their
respects. Neighbors also watched the procession as it weaved its way through South Bend to Highland
Cemetery.

"We're just out here because we need to show respect for the family, and for the community that he lived in
and show our honor. That’s just the way we feel in general, and that we stand behind him," says Indiana
Patriot Guard member Ron Coleman.

Andersen leaves behind a wife, three adult children and three adult step-children. He was set to come home
in a month with the rest of his unit.

War in Iraq claims former Dowagiac resident
Published: Monday, October 05, 2009, 9:51 PM               Updated: Monday, October 05, 2009, 11:04 PM
Gabrielle Russon | Kalamazoo Gazette


DOWAGIAC — Paul Andersen wanted to give his grown stepdaughter his riding lawn mower,
but it wouldn’t fit in the back of the car.

A spunky man of original ideas and childlike exuberance, Andersen decided to ride the mower
several miles on the side of the road in South Bend, Ind., to deliver it to her house.

Whenever a police car drove by, Andersen pretended to be just a regular neighbor out
mowing the grass.

“It was so funny, the look on his face,” said his wife, Linda Andersen. “He was pleased and
proud as can be, especially because he got away with it.”

Such funny stories are what Linda Andersen holds on to after her husband was killed last
week in Iraq, about a month before he was supposed to return home.

Andersen, of South Bend and formerly of Dowagiac, died Thursday after his camp was
attacked by what military officials called indirect fire. The Pentagon did not disclose more
details of his death Monday. Military funeral arrangements are still pending.




                   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)An Army carry team carries the transfer case containing the
                   remains of Army Spc. Paul E. Andersen of Dowogaic, Mich. during dignified transfer
                   ceremony at Dover Air Force Base, Del. on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009. According to the
                   Department of Defense, Andersen died while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

                   Sergeant Christopher T. Griffin




                   Hometown: Kincheloe, Michigan, U.S.


                   Age: 24 years old


                   Died: October 3, 2009 in Operation Enduring Freedom.


                   Unit: Army, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson,
                   Colo.


                   Incident: Died in Kamdesh, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their contingency
                   outpost with small arms, rocket-propelled grenade and indirect fires.


                           Christopher T Griffin

                           To Our Dear Friend, Words cannot express the pain we feel in our hearts knowing we will have
                           to go on without you. You touched all of our lives deeply and we will never forget you. Here's
                           to you Griff, Our friend and Hero Love Always, Josh & Samantha Tebay Ryan & Kelli Harris
                           James & Carah Simpson Kevin Straffin & Laura Berger




Published in The Gazette on October 11, 2009




Soldier with local ties killed in Afghanistan

Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 · Updated: Friday, October 23, 2009, 5:07 pm
By Christina Rohn News-Review Staff Writer
She describes her nephew as a "hero."

Kendra Griffin, a Petoskey resident and Wal-Mart optician, said she always knew her 24-year-old nephew,
Sgt. Christopher T. Griffin, would join the Army.

"He was a Civil War buff - he liked to watch the History Channel," she said. "He always wanted to be a
soldier."

But Kendra, and her sister, Kerri Causley, a Petoskey resident, department manager of cosmetics at Wal-
Mart and Christopher's mother, were not prepared for what would come next.

On Oct. 3, Christopher, a Kincheloe resident and 2004 graduate of Rudyard High School, died in combat in
Afghanistan, along with seven other U.S. soldiers, when hundreds of insurgents, armed with automatic rifles
and rocket-propelled grenades, attacked their remote outpost near the Pakistan border, in what military
officials are calling the deadliest assault against U.S. forces in more than one year.

"We were shocked - stunned," Kendra said. "It's something you know in your heart could happen, but you're
never prepared for it - you're never prepared for Army officers to be standing in your kitchen."

At the time of his death, Kendra said Christopher was a specialist in the Army, but has since been promoted
to the rank of sergeant.

"We consider him a hero … he was doing something he really wanted to do," she said.

Kendra said she remembers her nephew as kind, gentle soul.

"He was sweet, kind and very considerate," she said. "He was quiet, but once you got to know him, he was
a joker."

Kendra said he had a bright future.

"He was going to come out of the Army eventually and go to school - he always wanted to be a history
teacher," she said. "He probably would have settled down and had a family - he was going to make a good
husband.

"He was young, and he had the world ahead of him."

Kendra said since the news broke about she and her sister's loss, fellow Wal-Mart employees have
gathered together to offer the family support.

"When they talk about the Wal-Mart family, it's not at the corporate level, it's at the store level," she said.
"(Co-workers) have brought food, they've been visiting, offering to clean the house - they say anything we
need, just to call.

"I've never felt so consoled and loved. We appreciate everything they've done for us."

Kendra said her fellow employees also created a tribute table for Christopher at the store's front entrance,
which allows patrons to write their thoughts and prayers to Christopher and his family.

"Each and every one of (the Wal-Mart employees) has met (Christopher), or heard about him," she said.
"They feel like they lost one of their own."

Kendra said on Oct. 5, her sister flew to Dover, Del., to meet Christopher's casket and escort it back to
Michigan.

"It hasn't hit her yet - she's being strong," Kendra said.

Christopher's funeral service will take place at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at the Rudyard Area Schools
gymnasium.
A community dinner will follow the service at 5 p.m. at the Kinross Township Hall, 4884 W. Curtis St.,
Kincheloe, Mich. Local organizations are providing the food, and all are welcome to attend.

Condolences and donations for a scholarship fund in Christopher's name can be sent to Reamer Galer
Funeral Home, located at 24549 S. M-129 in Pickford, Mich., or by visiting
www.reamergalerfuneralhome.com.

Funeral service for Christopher T. Griffin

- 2 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 14, funeral service at the Rudyard Area Schools' gymnasium

- 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 14, community dinner at the Kinross Township Hall, 4884 W. Curtis St.,
Kincheloe, Mich.

Christina Rohn 439-9398 - crohn@petoskeynews.com


                County pays tribute to fallen soldier
Sault Ste. Marie Evening News
Tue Oct 13, 2009, 12:51 PM EDT

Chippewa County -

The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted Proclamation 09-21 at Monday’s
meeting in special tribute to fallen soldier Sergeant Christopher T. Griffin.
“Whereas, the County of Chippewa and its residents remember Sergeant Christopher T. Griffin who was
born in Sault Ste. Marie on April 10, 1985, and graduated from Rudyard High School in 2004, whose life
was cut short on October 3, 2009 during combat operations in Afghanistan; and Whereas, the County of
Chippewa and its residents will share in honoring Sergeant Christopher T. Griffin, and taking this time to
remember Sergeant Christopher T. Griffin and to celebrate the commitment to a better world which his
sacrifice has inspired; and
Whereas, Sergeant Christopher T. Griffin was deployed in support of the War on Terror by serving in
Operation Enduring Freedom and with the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment 4th Brigade Combat Team,
4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado; and
Whereas, during combat operations in Afghanistan, Sergeant Christopher T. Griffin was critically wounded
when an enemy forces attacked his camp and for this we acknowledge the need to remain a united nation of
strength, endurance and steadfastness; and
Whereas, it is with great pride that we recognize Sergeant Christopher T. Griffin as a true American hero that
has touched the hearts of his fellow soldiers and has been an inspiration of perseverance, loyalty and courage
to all; and Now, therefore be it resolved, that Sergeant Christopher T. Griffin served his country and gave the
largest of sacrifice; the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners urge the citizens of Chippewa County to
recognize and reflect on the importance of Sergeant Christopher T. Griffin and his dedication and sacrifice to
keeping our country safe.”


Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today ordered United States flags throughout the state of Michigan and on
Michigan waters lowered for Wednesday, October 14, 2009. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on
Wednesday at the Rudyard Area Schools gymnasium.




U.S. Army soldiers place the flag-draped transfer case containing the remains of U.S. Army Specialist Christopher T.
Griffin of Kincheloe, Michigan, into a transfer vehicle on the tarmac at Dover Air Force Base. (Photo by Chip
Somodevilla/Getty Images)


Sgt. Christopher Todd Griffin
October 8th, 2009




Born April 10, 1985 in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan


Died Oct. 3, 2009 in Kamdesh, Afghanistan




Sgt. Christopher T. Griffin of Kincheloe, Michigan, a proud member of the Sault Ste. Marie
Tribe of Chippewa Indians, he liked to spend time around the fire hall with his grandfather and
father. He had a gentle personality, treating everyone with kindness, and had a smile that
stayed on people’s minds. It was a half-smile, just enough to let you know he considered you
a friend. History was important to Christopher; he liked to watch the History Channel,
especially shows about the Civil War. At an early age he talked about serving his country, and
just a few weeks after his graduation in June 2004, was at boot camp in Fort Knox, Kentucky.
Christopher during his military career served in South Korea and Iraq from October 2006 to
December 2007. Currently assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade
Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado, he deployed to Afghanistan in
May 2009. He was one of 8 soldiers killed in Kamdesh, Afghanistan, when enemy forces
attacked their contingency outpost with small arms, rocket-propelled grenade and indirect
fire. Christopher earned many awards and decorations during his five years in the Army and
was promoted posthumously from Specialist to Sergeant. An American Indian by birth,
Christopher was a true warrior; one who gave his life in sacrifice for others, one who showed
courage.




            Spec. Brandon K. Steffey




            Hometown: Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, U.S.


            Age: 23 years old


            Died: October 25, 2009 in Operation Enduring Freedom.


            Unit: Army, 178th Military Police Detachment, 89th Military Police Brigade, III Corps, Fort Hood, Texas
Incident: Died in Laghman province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle
with a makeshift bomb.


       Brandon K. Steffey was known as "The Big Teddy Bear" because of his smile and the
       comforting hugs he doled out - all 6-foot-3, 200-plus pounds of him.

       "Brandon was a very kind and considerate person," said John Sherry, a principal at Sault Area
       High School in Steffey's hometown of Sault Sainte Marie, Mich. "A gentle giant with a very
       good sense of humor."

       Sherry said Steffey played football at his school and then transferred to play baseball at
       Brimley High School, where he graduated in 2005.

       A friend, Timothy Shaw, remembered Steffey as polite and honest, with the exception of one
       time when he pulled off a win in a cribbage game by pegging extra points during temporary
       power outages on a stormy night in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

       Steffey's uncle, Jim Worsham, said Steffey's decision to join the Army followed a family
       tradition of military service.

       The 23-year-old was killed Oct. 25 in Laghman province by a roadside bomb. He was assigned
       to a military police detachment out of Fort Hood.

       "He was so proud of what he was doing during his deployment," his wife, Andrea, said, adding
       that he also was a doting father to his young daughter.

       UPDATE: Upper Peninsula Soldier Killed in Afghanistan
       Posted: 10/26/2009
       A Chippewa County soldier gave everything he had fighting for our
       freedom.

       Army Specialist Brandon Steffey was killed yesterday, Sunday, by a road
       side bomb in Afghanistan.

       Steffey grew up in Sault Ste. Marie and graduated from Brimley High
       School in 2005.

       The 23-year-old joined the Army in 2006 and served two tours of duty as a
       K-9 handler.

       Steffey has a wife and young daughter where he was based in Fort Hood,
       Texas.

       Steffey just talked to his father a couple days ago and said he was going on
       a new mission. His father says he did not get into details but sounded in
       good spirits.

       His family describes him as a very caring person who loved people.

       They also say they will miss his sense of humor.

       After the Army, they say he wanted to stay in Texas and work for border
       patrol and immigration.

       There are no funeral arraignments set up at this time.

       9&10's Christina Vecchioni and photojournalist Aaron Smith have more
       details after visiting the family today.

       http://www.9and10news.com/category/story/?id=179624

       Another Michigan Soo area soldier dies in Afghanistan

       For the second time in less than a month, a U.S. soldier with roots in the Michigan Soo
       has died in Afghanistan.

       Army Specialist Brandon Steffey, 23, was killed yesterday by a roadside bomb.

       He grew up across the river and graduated from Brimley High School in 2005.
                     According to 9&10 News, Steffey joined the army in 2006 and was on his second tour
                     as a K-9 handler.

                     The deceased leaves a young daughter in Texas.

                     On October 14, funeral services were held in a Rudyard school gymnasium for Army
                     Sergeant Christopher Griffin who had died 11 days earlier during an attack by
                     insurgents. Griffin was born in the Michigan Soo and raised in Kincheloe.




Michigan honors Sault Ste. Marie soldier killed in
Afghanistan
Detroit News - 4th Nov 2009
                     Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. -- Family and friends in Sault Ste. Marie are paying tribute to
                     Army Specialist Brandon K. Steffey, who was killed in Afghanistan last month. A
                     funeral is Wednesday for Steffey, who died in a roadside bombing Oct. 25. The
                     procession was to begin at Clark Bailey Newhouse Funeral Home and end at Sault
                     Area High School, where visitation will run. The funeral service with full Military honors
                     was to be followed by a gathering at the high school cafeteria. Advertisement
                     Gov....REST OF STORY HAS BEEN ARCHIVED.

                     Army Specialist Brandon Steffey Honored and Remembered
                     Posted: 11/4/2009
                     The community of Sault Ste. Marie gathered to show support for fallen
                     soldier Brandon Steffey and his family.

                     Visitation started at noon today, Wednesday, at Sault Area High School,
                     with the funeral service following at 4:00 pm.

                     Steffey was killed October 25 by a roadside bomb while serving in
                     Afghanistan.

                     Both those who knew him and those who didn't came to honor the local
                     hero today.

                     Steffey worked for the military police K9 Unit and served two tours of duty
                     overseas.

                     He earned a number of medals for his service, including the Purple Heart
                     and Bronze Star.

                     He has a wife and young daughter where he was stationed in Fort Hood,
                     Texas.

                     Steffey will be laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery in Sault Ste. Marie.

                     Sault Area High School and Career Center started a scholarship in memory
                     of him. For more information, call the High School at (906) 635-3839.

                     9&10's Christina Vecchioni and photojournalist Aaron Smith were at today's
                     service and have more details.

                     http://www.9and10news.com/category/story/?id=181810
An Army carry team carries the transfer case containing the remains of Army Pfc. Brandon K. Steffey of Sault Ste.
Marie, Mich., during dignified transfer ceremony at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Oct. 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jose Luis
Magana)


Flags half-staff Wed. for MI soldier
Army Spc. Brandon K. Steffey of Sault Ste. Marie
Updated: Wednesday, 04 Nov 2009, 7:32 AM EST
Published : Wednesday, 04 Nov 2009, 7:32 AM EST
LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) - Gov. Jennifer Granholm has ordered United States flags throughout the state
and on Michigan waters lowered Wednesday in honor of Army Spc. Brandon K. Steffey of Sault Ste. Marie.
He died Oct. 25 in Laghman province, Afghanistan of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his
vehicle with an improvised explosive device. The 23-year-old was assigned to the 178th Military Police
Detachment, 89th Military Police Brigade, III Corps, in Fort Hood, Texas.

Spc. Steffey was serving his second tour of duty, having first served in Iraq. He became a dog handler
during his tour in Afghanistan. His dog, Maci, was trained to find militants who build, place and detonate
IEDs.
Funeral services will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Sault Area High School.
                       SPC Brandon Keith Steffey
                       SPC Brandon Keith Steffey, 23, gave his life in Operation Enduring Freedom on Sunday,
                       October 25, 2009 in Afghanistan. He was on his second tour along with his K-9 partner Maci.

                       Brandon was born on October 6, 1986 in Sault Ste. Marie at War Memorial Hospital to Dennis
                       and Rachel Steffey. As a young child, Brandon played in many sports — wrestling, hockey and
                       baseball being his favorites. He occasionally attempted to take down his father in wrestling,
                       but it wasn’t until many years later, after army training, that he was able to best him.

                       Brandon was able to make the best of any situation. This was evident during his Senior year at
                       Sault High when after transferring to Brimley, a parent described him by saying that he
                       “breathed life back into the baseball program.”

                       Brandon was admired by so many people for his manners and politeness. Everyone who knew
                       Brandon loved him and his smile. He was a tough guy with a contagious laugh, a gentle giant
                       as some described him.

                       Aside from everything else that he accomplished, he was a huge influence on many who knew
                       him, most of all his nephew Connor who, from a very early age, looked up to him.

                       Preceding Brandon in death was his grandmother Madeline Southall.
                       Brandon is survived by his wife, Andrea and daughter, Abigail Grace of San Antonio, Texas;
                       parents: Father Dennis Steffey, mother Rachel (David) Humpf both of Sault Ste Marie. Also
                       surviving Brandon are his sister Heather Steffey, nephew Connor VanLuven and his best friend,
                       Nicholas Frazier all of Sault Ste. Marie; uncles: Michael (Cynthia) Steffey, Bill Steffey also of
                       San Antonio Texas. Also surviving are his father-in-law, David Kurimski, of Johnson City, Texas;
                       mother-in-law, Chrystal Gilg of San Antonio; uncle, Joel (Freida) Clary of Green Bay, Wisconsin;
                       aunt, Helen (Randall) Haas of Washington, Michigan; grandparents: Bob and Nita Clary also of
                       the Soo; and numerous other loved ones — too many to list.

                       On Wednesday November 4, 2009, a celebration of Brandon’s life will be held from noon until
                       4 p.m. at Sault Area High School. Funeral Services with Full Military Honors will be held on
                       Wednesday November 4 at 4 p.m. with Major Roger Rhodes officiating.
Sergeant Arla Bennett and Clark Bailey Newhouse Funeral Home are assisting the Steffey
family during this difficult time.

Funeral arrangements for Army Specialist Brandon Steffey
By SooToday.com Staff
SooToday.com
Friday, October 30, 2009
NEWS RELEASE

CLARK BAILEY
NEWHOUSE
FUNERAL HOME

****************************
Funeral arrangements for Army Specialist Brandon Steffey

Army Specialist Brandon K. Steffey was killed by a roadside bomb on Sunday, October
25, 2009 while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

The remains of Specialist Steffey will be brought home to Sault Ste. Marie on Monday,
November 2.

An honour guard will be meeting the plane at Chippewa County International Airport at
the EDC building located at 17011 S. Water Tower Drive.

When the arrival time is confirmed, local authorities and media will be notified and an
announcement made as to the time the procession will occur.

Specialist Steffey will be transported from the airport by special escort to the Clark
Bailey Newhouse Funeral Home located at 113 Maple Street by the following route:

From Water Tower Drive, the procession will travel east on Tone Road to M-129
heading north to Sault Ste. Marie to Ashmun Street, then north to downtown Sault Ste.
Marie, ending at Maple Street.

The public is encouraged to show support for Specialist Steffey and his family along
this route.
Funeral service for Brandon Steffey will take place on Wednesday, November 4.

Specialist Steffey will be transported from the Clark Bailey Newhouse Funeral Home
by special escort beginning at 11 a.m.

The procession will then travel north on Ashmun Street to Marquette Avenue then east
on Marquette Avenue to the Sault Area High School where visitation will commence
from noon until 4 p.m.

The funeral service with full military honours will take place at 4 p.m.

A buffet will follow the service at the high school cafeteria.

Support for the Steffey family may be shown by participation along the procession
route on both Monday and Wednesday, and through attendance during the visitation
and the funeral service on Wednesday at the high school, according to local
organizers.

In addition, Governor Granholm, by executive order, has directed all flags in the State
of Michigan to be flown at half-staff on Wednesday, November 4 for Specialist Steffey.

Furthermore, Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Anthony Bosbous has requested that flags be
flown at half-staff on Monday and Tuesday as well to recognize the ultimate sacrifice
that Army Specialist Brandon K. Steffey made for the cause of his country.

Additional information on arrangements can be obtained by contacting
www.clarkbaileynewhouse.com, or by calling the Sheriff's Office at 635-6355 or City
Police at 632-5744.




Sgt. Ralph A.W. Frietas
                       Hometown: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.

                       Age: 23 years old

                       Died: December 8, 2009 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

                       Unit: Marines, Marine Wing Support Squadron 172, Marine Wing Support
                       Group 17, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa,
                       Japan

                       Incident: Died as a result of unknown causes in Baghdad.

                       Sgt. Ralph Anthony Webb Freitas

December 12th, 2009




Born: July 28, 1986 in Detroit, Michigan
Died: Dec. 8, 2009 in Baghdad, Iraq


Sgt. Ralph Anthony Webb Freitas of Detroit, Michigan loved playing video games as young boy, and he detested
being interrupted to get his chores done. Ralph served as a Marine combat engineer. He is remembered as having
a positive attitude even in the worst of circumstances. When others complained he managed to keep a smile on his
face. He was honest, caring and a loyal Marine at all times. He is survived by mother Charlene O. Byrd, the Freitas
family and Webb family. Ralph died at age 23 as a result of unknown causes in Baghdad.
Marines
172 Marine Wing Support Squadron
17th Marine Wing Support Group 17
1st Marine Aircraft Wing
III Marine Expeditionary Force
Okinawa, Japan


Funeral was private.

								
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