Sunday, July 13, 2008

Army Cpl. Pruitt A. Rainey

Remember Our Heroes

Army Cpl. Pruitt A. Rainey, 22, of Haw River, N.C.

Cpl. Rainey was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503d Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy; died of wounds sustained when his outpost was attacked by small-arms fire and rocket propelled grenades from enemy forces in Wanat, Afghanistan, on July 13, 2008. Also killed were 1st Lt. Jonathan P. Brostrom, Sgt. Israel Garcia, Cpl. Jonathan R. Ayers, Cpl. Jason D. Hovater, Cpl. Jason M. Bogar, Cpl. Matthew B. Phillips, Cpl. Gunnar W. Zwilling and Pfc. Sergio S. Abad.

N.C. soldier among 9 killed in attack
The Associated Press

HAW RIVER, N.C. — A North Carolina paratrooper was one of nine soldiers killed when militants used machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades to attack a remote outpost in eastern Afghanistan, the military said.

Cpl. Pruitt A. Rainey, 22, of Haw River was killed Sunday when Taliban militants attacked his base in Wanat, Afghanistan, along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in the deadliest attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan in three years.

NATO said several hundred fighters used buildings in the village of Wanat for cover as they attacked the base early Sunday morning. An unknown number of militants got inside the outpost before U.S. defenders beat them back using helicopter gunships.

Rainey was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Vicenza, Italy.

Friends said Rainey was a “gentle giant” who excelled as a wrestler at Graham High School and planned to go back to school after serving in the Army. They said he hoped to become a teacher.

“He was a very dynamic person,” Jeff Terrell told the News & Record of Greensboro. “Everybody loved him. Young kids were just drawn to him. All of his friends were just drawn to him. He had a great personality.”

Terrell worked with Rainey as a youth leader at Glen Hope Baptist Church in Burlington.

Rainey enlisted in the U.S. Army after a short stint at Campbell University. He spent a year in Italy before his unit was deployed to Afghanistan. Church friends told The Times-News of Burlington he was eager to come home and that he was due back by the end of July.

“He wanted to be a teacher, probably a physical-education teacher and a wrestling coach,” Terrell told the Burlington Times-News.

Rainey’s family declined to speak with reporters.

Army Cpl. Pruitt A. Rainey was killed in action on 7/13/08.

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