Monday, July 25, 2005

Army Specialist Adam J. Harting

Remember Our Heroes

Army Specialist Adam J. Harting, 21, of Portage, Indiana.

Spc Harting died in Samarra, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Bradley Fighting Vehicle. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 42nd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia.

(CBS) PORTAGE, Ind. One of the youngest soldiers to fight in the Iraqi war was killed in the line of duty.

Adam Harting was barely old enough to legally drink. Despite his young age, he enthusiastically wanted to serve his country.

CBS 2's Suzanne LeMignot reports on a family trying to come to grips with his death.

"He believed very strongly in what he was doing. He loved his country and he loved his friends and family," said Adam’s father, Jim Harting.

Jim Harting says at the tender age of 11, his son, Army Spc. Adam Harting, wrote down his goals for his father. Enlisting in the military was one of them.

"Even in the fifth grade he pretty much had things planned out for himself. He knew exactly where he wanted to go,” Jim Harting said.

On Monday, Harting got word his 21-year-old son was dead. An explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Samarra, Iraq.

“There won't be a day that goes by that I won't think of him and miss him," Harting said.

Adam Harting was 19 years old when he was featured in Time magazine in 2003 as one of the youngest soldiers to arrive in Kuwait as part of the American invasion of Iraq. At 18, he had only been out of high school for six months when he was called to duty.

"He served proudly. He really and truly did," Jim Harting said.

Adam would have been home two months ago for good, but his tour of duty was extended. With that in mind, Adam's death is especially hard for his twin brother, Alex.

"They were one person that was split in two and, he was, he was a best friend," the boys’ father said.

Adam's father said, he feels blessed he was just able to see his son a few weeks ago. He came home for two and a half weeks and arrived to see his dad on Father's Day.

Adam Harting is the 13th member of the U.S. military from northwest Indiana killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Harting's death is also being mourned here at CBS 2. Two years ago on Mother's Day, Harting phoned home from Iraq on a CBS satellite phone.

CBS 2 cameraman John Truitt set up the call. They became friends when Harting guarded the perimeter for U.S. journalists in Baghdad.

He remembers a young Indiana kid amazed by TV news but who also was a grizzled veteran of the war.

“In this business, you meet a lot of people from all walks of life, heads of state, professional athletes, entertainers, extraordinary people. I don’t think I could think of anybody more memorable than him. He was polite, honest, engaging, very smart," Truitt said.

They saw each other just last month when Adam was on leave. At that time, Truitt gave him the CBS cap he'd worn in Iraq. The last thing he told Adam was to bring it back.

Army Specialist Adam J. Harting was killed in action on 07/25/05.


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