Monday, April 23, 2007

Army Pfc. Garrett C. Knoll

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Garrett C. Knoll, 23, of Bad Axe, Mich.

Pfc. Knoll was assigned to the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died April 23 in Sadah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his location. Also killed were Spc. Michael J. Rodriguez, Spc. Jerry R. King, Sgt. Michael L. Vaughan, Sgt. Brice A. Pearson, Sgt. Randell T. Marshall, 1st Lt. Kevin J. Gaspers, Staff Sgt. Kenneth E. Locker Jr. and Staff Sgt. William C. Moore.

Michigan soldier killed in Iraq was athletic, popular

The Associated Press

VERONA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A 23-year-old Army medic from Michigan’s Thumb who was killed in Iraq attended a rural one-room school through eighth grade but jumped right into the social whirl and sports scene at Bad Axe High School, his former principal says.

Garrett Knoll of Huron County’s Verona Township was killed when a truck bomb exploded next to his patrol base near Baghdad, grandmother Ruth Knoll told WLEW-AM in Bad Axe.

Nine members of the 82nd Airborne Division were killed and 20 were wounded April 23. It was the single greatest loss of life for American ground forces in Iraq since Dec. 1, 2005, when a roadside bomb killed 10 Marines and wounded 11 in an abandoned building near Fallujah.

The soldiers were members of the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, at Fort Bragg, N.C. A civilian interpreter also was wounded.

Knoll, a 2001 graduate of Bad Axe High, lived with his grandparents near Verona, about 100 miles north of Detroit. He had been serving as a medic in Iraq for two months.

Ruth Knoll said military officials notified her April 24. The Pentagon had not yet announced his death by midmorning April 25.

Knoll attended the one-room Verona Mills school from kindergarten through eighth grade, said Bad Axe High Principal Wayne Brady.

Knoll “fit right in” when he moved on to the high school, Brady told The Saginaw News. The freshman joined the cross country, track and wrestling teams.

“He was a happy-go-lucky kid,” Brady said. “He was very friendly. One thing I remember is his sense of humor. He was very sharp, very witty. And he had a nice circle of friends.”

Lee Kahler, Knoll’s track and cross country coach and his biology teacher, described him as “happy, joyful, enthusiastic, eager, always adventuresome.”

“He was a guy who was always full of energy,” Kahler told the Huron Daily Tribune of Bad Axe. “He was a really neat kid.”

“Our thoughts and sympathies go out to his family, and we will honor his, and their, sacrifice,” said Bad Axe Mayor Herbert Williams. “As a community, we will do whatever we can to help them heal.”

Army Pfc. Garrett C. Knoll was killed in action on 4/23/07.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

PFC Garrett Knoll was my cousin (more like a big brother). I am looking for anyone who may of served with Garrett in the short time that he was in Iraq. Please write me if you knew him

Thank you,