Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Army Sgt. Curtis J. Forshey

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Curtis J. Forshey, 22, of Hollidaysburg, Pa.

Sgt. Forshey was assigned to the 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky; died March 27 in Homburg, Germany, of a noncombat related illness after being medevaced out of Kuwait on March 22.

Altoona Mirror -- Sgt. Curtis J. Forshey liked the military life and, despite the daily dangers that went with serving in Iraq, had planned on making a career of it.

Tragically, the 22-year-old Hollidaysburg resident died Tuesday in an Army hospital in Homburg, Germany, leaving behind a wife, Laura, and their 3-month-old son, Benjamin.

"He was a great guy," the 23-year-old Laura, said Thursday. "He was a great husband, a great father and a great soldier."

Curtis' mom, Sharon Forshey, said her son was serving his second tour of Iraq with the 494th Transportation Company, a part of the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky., when he got sick. Within a week of finding out he had leukemia, Curtis died from a brain aneurysm, a complication of his treatment. His death occurred shortly after his wife, son and parents arrived in Germany where he was hospitalized

"We expected to go over there, fight this and come home," Laura said. Originally, Curtis was supposed to come back to the states, but doctors decided he was too sick to travel and started treatment. The State Department made arrangements for the family to fly to Germany Sunday night.

Laura's birthday was Monday, and Curtis had asked her what she wanted as a gift, said Andy Himes, a close friend of the family. Flying to Germany to see him would turn out to be more than just a birthday wish, but by the time the family arrived, Curtis was on life support, Himes said.

Himes first met the couple when they worked -- Curtis as a Kinder Ski instructor and Laura in sales -- at Blue Knob Four Seasons Resort. Himes, the mountain manager, also happens to date Laura's mom, so he’s also seen them go from dating teenagers -- they met at the mountain -- to a loving couple just starting their own family.

"Curt was someone who you would want your own kids to be like," Himes said. "He was real good kid -- a good head on his shoulders. You don't meet a lot of kids like him."

For Curtis, the military wasn't just a last resort career or a path taken on a whim.

"He wasn't a flunky who just joined the military because he didn't know what else to do," Himes said, recalling how Curtis told him he planned to make a career out of the Army and was pursuing becoming a helicopter pilot.

Even that part of his plan was further thought out than what one would expect from most guys his age, Himes said, Curtis told him that since he would only be about 40 years old when he retired from the service, he wanted to combine his passion for skiing and his training as a pilot to work ferrying skiers to remote slopes.

Laura said she took the danger of his job in stride.

"We liked the military," she said. "It's part of the job. He came home safely once."

Facing the enemy is the duty of any soldier serving in Iraq, and Curtis had did that.

"He was there fighting," Himes said. "It was just a different kind of enemy that got him."

Army Sgt. Curtis J. Forshey died while serving in Iraq from complications for Leukemia treatments on 3/27/07.

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