Saturday, January 24, 2004

Army Pfc. Ervin Dervishi

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Ervin Dervishi, 21, Fort Worth, Texas

Pfc. Dervishi was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas; died Jan. 24 when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the Bradley Fighting Vehicle in which he was traveling on combat patrol in Baji, Iraq. He was evacuated to the 28th Combat Support Hospital where he later died.

Soldier from North Texas dies in Iraq

Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas — A soldier from North Texas who died in a grenade attack had wanted to pursue a law enforcement career, relatives say.

Pfc. Ervin Dervishi, who was killed on Saturday, became a U.S. citizen only after being inducted into the Army. The victim was identified on Monday.

Dervishi, 21, came to the United States from his homeland of Albania and joined the military because he decided it would be the best way to train for a career in law enforcement, said a spokeswoman for his family.

Attackers fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the Bradley Fighting Vehicle in which the Fort Hood soldier was riding in Baji. Dervishi died of his injuries after being evacuated to a combat support hospital.

Military officials were investigating the attack.

The Fort Worth man’s parents spent Monday evening with a military officer, planning their son’s funeral and completing paperwork, said friends.

“It’s very hard,” Gzim Haliti, 17, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Tuesday’s editions. “He was one of the best people you could meet. He wanted to be in the military and then be a police officer.”

He said Dervishi’s deployment was extended until April after the soldier had expected to return home in November.

Dervishi was present during the capture of Saddam Hussein, said friends.

They said the soldier was a 2002 graduate of Western Hills High School, where he had played soccer. He was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment.

Saimir Dervishi, the soldier’s brother, said his family knew something would happen to him.

“My dad felt it and I felt it. My mom felt it,” said Saimir Dervishi. “ We knew something was going to come up anytime. We just didn’t know it was going to happen this soon.”

In 1999, the Dervishis came to the United States after winning an immigration lottery, said Kim Beebe, the family’s U.S. sponsor. They lived in Waxahachie for three years before moving to Fort Worth.

In Waxahachie, the soldier was named the soccer team’s most valuable player in 2001.

“He grew up under communism and wanted something better and something different for his life,” Beebe said. “His whole point was to keep peace.”

Army Pfc. Ervin Dervishi was killed in action on 01/24/04.

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