Saturday, May 31, 2008

Army Pvt. Andrew J. Shields

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pvt. Andrew J. Shields, 19, of Battleground, Wash.

Pvt. Shields died May 31, 2008 in Jalalabad City, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 173rd Special Troops Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Bamberg, Germany. Also killed was Spc. James M. Finley.

Battle Ground man killed in Afghanistan

A 19-year-old soldier from Battle Ground in southwestern Washington was killed Saturday in Afghanistan, the Defense Department said Monday.

Pvt. Andrew Jon Shields, a combat medic and paratrooper, died when a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb in Jalalabad. He was a 2007 graduate of Battle Ground High School, where he had been a highly regarded cadet firefighter.

Killed in the same vehicle in which Shields was riding was Spc. James M. Finley, 21, of Lebanon, Mo., Army officials said. Both were members of the 173rd Special Troops Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Bamberg, Germany.

Battle Ground Mayor Michael Ciraulo on Monday ordered flags in the city lowered to half-staff in Shields' memory while the City Council held a moment of silence.

The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver reported Monday that Shields had been a cadet firefighter and cadet battalion chief in his senior year. An energetic, focused teen, Shields wanted to follow in his father's footsteps by serving in the Army, after which he wanted to a career in emergency services, the newspaper reported.

Only a month ago, Shields had visited his former classmates and cadets at the high school before deploying to Afghanistan, the Columbian said, urging them to keep their eyes on their goals.

Army Pvt. Andrew J. Shields was killed in action on 5/31/08.

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