Saturday, June 09, 2007

Army Sgt. Cory M. Endlich

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Cory M. Endlich, 23, of Massillon, Ohio

Sgt. Endlich was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Wash. He died June 9, 2007 in Taji, Iraq, of wounds sustained from enemy small-arms fire.

Northeast Ohio soldier killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

MASSILLON, Ohio — A soldier from northeast Ohio was shot and killed in Iraq during the weekend while on patrol north of Baghdad, his family said June 11.

“He felt the war was justified and wanted to be there,” said Randy Endlich, father of Sgt. Cory Endlich, 23, a 2003 graduate of Massillon’s Washington High school.

“I am very proud of him and the job he was doing. He was a giver. He would do anything for just about anybody. Anyone would be proud to call him a son. [No one] knows how much he will be missed.”

Endlich left Fort Lewis, Wash., for duty in Iraq on April 9.

In high school, Endlich performed with the Massillon Tiger Swing Band and ran cross country. He worked at a Massillon Dairy Queen, where the message board outside the restaurant was changed to “CORY ENDLICH, OUR HERO, YOU WILL BE MISSED.”

Friends, strangers honor Sgt. Cory Endlich
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
BY Robert Wang

Kevin Moore keeps in his Bible the last letter he got from U.S. Army Sgt. Cory Endlich .

In that correspondence, postmarked two weeks ago, Endlich told Moore that his base had come under mortar attack on June 2, his 23rd birthday. A fellow soldier had been killed. Endlich, the best friend of Moore's son, also mentioned a village dubbed "17 July" near his base where the residents had a different religious background than others in the area.

"It is my strong belief that if we (weren't here), they would all be dead," Endlich wrote on a sheet of lined paper. "I feel that if I can change their (fate) then I have made a (difference here)."

Two hours after getting the letter June 9, Moore learned that Endlich had died earlier that day. He had been killed by hostile fire north of Baghdad.

"We never said goodbye," said Moore, 43, of Massillon. "He went from being my kid's friend, to being my kid's best friend, to being a son."

On Monday afternoon, Moore, dressed in a full suit on a hot day, attended calling hours at Paquelet Funeral Home for Endlich, a Massillon native.

Inside, the body of Endlich lay in an open casket, wrapped with an American flag. A uniformed honor guard stood watch. Family members shook hands with a steady stream of visitors. One woman was repeatedly overcome by tears as a man consoled her.

Outside the funeral home, at least 11 volunteers from the Patriot Guard Riders stood by the entrance with large American flags.

Two volunteers, David Hunt and his wife, Frankie, took a day off from work and drove more than two hours from Slippery Rock, Pa., to pay homage to a man they never knew. They didn't mind standing for several hours in the intense heat holding flags.

"There's spots (that are) 130 degrees in Iraq, and they have full body armor on," said David Hunt. "We're not getting shot at."

Moore said Endlich had befriended two Iraqi girls who lived in a village by the base. The soldier asked his mother to send him crayons and coloring books to give to them. Moore said Endlich also often volunteered to take the patrol assignments of younger soldiers. And he was frequently the person with the risky task of jumping first out of the armed personnel vehicle.

Endlich, who ran cross-country with Moore's son for Washington High School, may not have had the talent to be an elite runner. But, "I watched that kid run in pain so many times," said Moore. "To him, it didn't matter where he finished. He just had to finish the race."

Moore asked Endlich why he went through the torment.

"I've got to be ready to run," replied Endlich. "I'm going (into the) Airborne (division). I've got to run nonstop."

Army Sgt. Cory M. Endlich was killed in action on 6/9/07.

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