Saturday, August 06, 2011

Army Staff Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger

Remember Our Heroes

Army Staff Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Neb.

SSgt Hamburger was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Nebraska National Guard, Grand Island, Neb.; died Aug. 6, 2011 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the CH-47 Chinook helicopter in which he was riding was shot down.

A fallen Nebraska National Guard member had only been in Afghanistan a week or so before being killed in a military helicopter crash, his brother said.

Staff Sgt. Patrick Hamburger, 30, of Grand Island, Neb., one of 30 Americans killed in an Aug. 6 Chinook crash, had only been in the country for a short period of time, his brother said.

Chris Hamburger said his brother landed in Afghanistan less than two weeks prior to the crash and arrived at Forward Operating Base Shank a few days before his death.

“He didn’t have to go and he wanted to go because his group was getting deployed. He wanted to be there for them — that’s him for you,” Hamburger said, adding that Patrick always looked out for his two younger brothers and friends.

“It doesn’t come as a total surprise that he was trying to help people and that’s how it all ended up happening,” he said.

Hamburger’s family said he was a crew chief on his first deployment.

Chris Hamburger last spoke to his brother July 26, when he arrived in Afghanistan. He said his brother was joking around and didn’t talk about his mission.

“He didn’t want us to worry about it,” he said.

Patrick Hamburger planned to propose to his girlfriend when he got home, his brother said. The couple has a 2-year-old daughter, and his girlfriend has a 13-year-old who Patrick has helped to raise for the past several years.

His stepfather, DeLayne Peck, told local news that his stepson had joined the Air Guard when he was 18, and that he planned to propose to his fiancee Candie Regan, mother of his 2-year-old daughter Payton, when he returned from Afghanistan.

The son of Joyce Peck of Lincoln and Douglas Hamburger of Knoxville, Tennessee, he graduated from Southeast High School in 1999 and joined the Nebraska Army National Guard in July 1998. He has continuously served in Nebraska Army aviation units.

Hamburger sent an e-mail to Reagan the day before his death. She read the e-mail to CNN's Don Lemon.

"Please don't worry about me," Hamburger wrote. The e-mail assured Reagan that he was "doing everything in his power to be safe and to make it home in one piece."
"Don't worry, this place isn't going to change me, I'm going to change this place," his last e-mail said.

"Pat was always looking out for everyone around him," Chris Hamburger said. "... he was always taking care of us. He would get himself into bad situations to help us.

He was selfless. He didn't worry about him(self) half as much as he worried about everybody else. You could have been a complete stranger" and he would have helped you.

It was his selflessness that led him to Afghanistan, he said
"His group was getting deployed and he wanted to be with them," he said. "He said it was only right that he would be there, too."

Hamburger's family is gathering in Lincoln waiting for the return of his body. His girlfriend's brother, Sgt. David Mason, was also in Afghanistan and is escorting Hamburger home

August 20, 2011
Thank you Pat for your service and sacrifice. It was an honor to have known you. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. God Bless.
~Krissa Curry-Delka, Lincoln, Nebraska

August 20, 2011
I will forever remember the good times we had and you will never be forgotten. Thank you Pat for your service and god bless.
~ Chris Heidtbrink, Lincoln, Nebraska

August 18, 2011
Thank you Sgt. Patrick Hamburger for all that you done for all of us. I`m feel Blessed to have known you , you were an amazing Father and Man . I know You changed Candie`s Life and gave her your everthing . I also know your with her always and helping her stay strong. They have lots of love and support so no worries your Girls will be taken care of.I hope you Rest in will always be our Hero!!
~ Christina Hier, Lincoln, Nebraska

Army Staff Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger was killed in action on 8/6/11.

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