Friday, November 12, 2004

Army 1st Lt. Edward D. Iwan

Remember Our Heroes

Army 1st Lt. Edward D. Iwan, 28, of Albion, Neb.

Lt. Iwan was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, Vilseck, Germany; killed Nov. 12 when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Fallujah, Iraq.

TheOmahaChannel -- ALBION, Neb. --

The Albion native and 28-year-old Army chaplain died Friday when his Bradley vehicle was hit by a rocket propelled grenade in the battle for Fallujah.

Iwan's parents, Donna and Kenneth Iwan, said that as a young leader in Future Farmers of America, he talked them into raising sheep. It was a whole new lifestyle for the family, but it was something Edward really wanted to do.

After high school, Iwan joined the Army, then went to college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and joined the ROTC program. He graduated with a degree in criminal justice.

To show how optimistic Iwan was, he asked his parents to send seeds to Iraq so he could grow a garden in the middle of a war zone.

"He always wanted to see if things would grow in the desert," Kenneth Iwan said.

"This child was a gift," said Donna Iwan. "You'd always (want to) keep your gifts longer but the days were good."

Edward Iwan saw the military as a career, and after serving as an enlisted man he earned a college degree and returned to Army life as a commissioned officer.

"It was a service and dedication thing to him," said his mother, Donna Iwan. "He felt there were people in need, who needed to be helped."

Iwan, 28, of Albion, Neb., died when a grenade struck his vehicle on Nov. 12. He was stationed in Germany.

Iwan had joined the Army after graduating from high school in 1994. He served three years as an enlisted man and then studied criminal justice at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After graduation, he rejoined the Army in December 2001 as a 2nd Lieutenant.

Iwan, who previously served in Kosovo, felt the army's goals were essentially humanitarian -- to ensure safety and peace, Donna Iwan said.

"He believed in the career of a soldier in protection and peace -- protection of the weak," she said.

Army 1st Lt. Edward D. Iwan was killed in action on 11/12/04.

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