Sunday, May 02, 2004

Army Pfc. Jeremy L. Drexler

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Jeremy L. Drexler, 23, of Topeka, Kansas.

Pfc Drexler died in Baghdad, Iraq, when his convoy vehicle hit an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to 91st Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

For Deborah Drexler, the moment she and husband Karl feared most since her son Jeremy was deployed to Iraq came on May 2: An Army major in full dress uniform, accompanied by a chaplain, was at the door of their Topeka home.

“Jeremy was trained to be a fighter and he died a fighter,” Deborah Drexler said. “He felt it was his duty.”

“Jeremy was the kindest fellow who ever lived,” Deborah Drexler said. “He was a very giving person, goodhearted. He would give the shirt off his back if it would help somebody. He was the finest young man you could ever meet.”

Drexler graduated from Washburn Rural High School in 1999, enlisting in the Army three years later. The school’s principal, Bill Edwards, said Drexler was an intelligent young man who “marched to the tune of a different drummer.”

“He was fearless,” Edwards said. “He was not afraid to stand up to somebody bigger than him if he felt he had been wronged.”

Edwards said Drexler didn’t dress like other students, wore his hair differently and occasionally got into trouble that resulted in a few visits to the principal’s office. But he also spent an hour each day at the middle school serving as a teacher’s aide in German class, Edwards said, and knew early on that he wanted to be in the military.

“Sometimes people would look at him and think he was unusual,” the principal said. “He surprised people by how caring and loyal he was.”

Deborah Drexler, whose father was a military chaplain, said her son knew she didn’t want him to go to Iraq, but he felt it was his duty. “He knew how much I loved him and cared for him and didn’t want him to go,” she said.

She said she last spoke with her son about a month before he died, when she sent a care package that included shampoo, soap and snacks. She encouraged others to send similar care packages to the troops.

“Jeremy hated it over there,” Deborah Drexler said. “The Iraqi people were being rude to him, and it was hot and uncomfortable for the soldiers. His main goal was to get in there and help people and try to make life more comfortable for them.”

Drexler was posthumously promoted to Private First Class on May 2, 2004.

Army Pfc Jeremy L. Drexler was killed in action on 05/02/04.

No comments: