Monday, February 06, 2006

Army Specialist Patrick W. Herried

Remember Our Heroes

Army Specialist Patrick W. Herried, 29, of Sioux Falls, S.D.

Spc Herried was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Wainwright, Alaska; killed Feb. 6 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Stryker military vehicle during patrol operations in Rawah, Iraq.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner -- FAIRBANKS -- A Fort Wainwright soldier was killed Monday in Iraq when a bomb detonated next to his Stryker vehicle near Rawah, according to the Army.

Spc. Patrick W. Herried, 29, of Sioux Falls, S.D., was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment of the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

His mother, Rita Herried, said she talked with her son Sunday morning. He said he needed shampoo, foot powder and other toiletries, and joked that bathing in the Euphrates River running through Rawah was wreaking havoc on his skin.

He said he was heading out on a mission that had been stalled by mud caused by the rainy season, Rita Herried said.

"Hopefully we'll make it this time," he told her.

"I guess they didn't," she said.

One other soldier was wounded in the explosion, according to the Army. The soldier, whose name was not released, was seriously injured and evacuated to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

Sgt. Jeremiah J. Boehmer, 22, of Parkston, S.D., and Staff Sgt. Christopher R. Morningstar, 27, of San Antonio, were killed Sunday in Al Husayniyah.

Seven Fort Wainwright soldiers have died in the war. Another 11 with ties to Alaska also have been killed.

Rita Herried described her son as a dedicated soldier.

"He felt that it was his duty to serve," she said.

He joined the Army in 2004 and was deployed to Iraq last summer.

In December, he came home on leave to Sioux Falls, where his mother and sister, Stacey, live. Herried asked her son if he was scared to return to the war zone.

"He said, 'No, I don't want to leave my troop hanging,' " Herried said.

The day Patrick Herried had to leave, he was up at 4 a.m. waiting for her.

She said her son loved football. He played as a defensive end in high school, cheered for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and also played the game on his Nintendo.

"It was all football games," she said.

In Iraq, he spent his time going on patrols, running coordinates and serving as a rear gunner, she said.

Rita Herried said she asked him if the U.S. needed to be in Iraq. He responded: "Yes, we do. We're doing good over there."

Since her son's death, the Army has been great, she said. Soldiers assigned to help her come over all the time and called Wednesday morning to offer her breakfast or see if she needed anything. The Red Cross has been helpful, too, she said.

Rita Herried planned to visit her son in Fairbanks after his deployment. She wanted to tour the city and the Alaska coastline. Her son bought an expensive new mountain bike in December and had asked her to ship it up to Fairbanks.

She was able to laugh a little Wednesday as she told stories about her son.

"He died doing what he wanted to do," she said.

Army Specialist Patrick W. Herried was killed in action on 02/06/06.

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