Saturday, September 17, 2011

Army Sgt. Garrick L. Eppinger Jr.

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Garrick L. Eppinger Jr., 25, of Appleton, Wis.

Sgt Eppinger was assigned to 395th Ordnance Company, 687th Combat Sustainment Support Brigade, 646th Regional Support Group, 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Reserve, Wausau, Wis.; died Sept. 17, 2011 in Parwan province, Afghanistan.

Sgt Eppinger was a supply specialist for the munitions post at Bagram Air Base.

The youngest of five children. Sisters, Shandra, Robbyn and Amy said their brother worked a desk job when he was found dead at Bagram Airbase.

“Garrick wasn’t infantry,” Shandra said. “He wasn’t in the line of fire. He wasn’t in one of the valley areas where there’s fighting. You would almost expect then that something could happen, but he was on a base, near where he worked.”

Shandra said her brother was shot but that the circumstances of his death were unknown. She said a death on base was “highly irregular” and that an investigation by military police was ongoing.

“They found him behind the ammunitions post where he worked. That’s all we know,” she said. “We won’t know any details until they
complete their investigation.”

Sgt Eppinger graduated from Appleton North High School in 2005 and joined the Army shortly afterwards. He had been deployed for about 1 1/2 months. This was his third deployment, having previously served in Iraq in 2005 and 2009.

Mother, Linda, last spoke with her son the Friday before he was killed. He told her everything was OK. On Saturday morning, two Army officers arrived at her home to inform her that her son had been shot and killed in the line of duty.

Linda and Garrick Eppinger Sr., both Navy veterans, knew the risks of serving in the military. That doesn't make the loss of their son any easier.

"It's really rough right now," said mother, Linda. "We've had a lot of support from our family and friends, but it's just not something you expect to land on your doorstep."

She said the details of their son's death were not immediately known. "All we know is he was shot in Afghanistan," she said.

Garrick Sr. said he was at peace with his son's death because he told him, in a letter and in a conversation, that he loved him and that he was proud of him.

"I got a chance to state my peace with him before he left," he said. "A lot of parents tend to think of things that they should have said. If they're in earnest and try to put as much of that (down), knowing full well that the child may not come back, then they're at peace when something like this happens."

He said his son had strong faith in God and "a strong love of country."

Army Sgt. Garrick L. Eppinger Jr. was killed in action on 9/17/11.

No comments: