Thursday, December 01, 2005

Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew G. Patten

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew G. Patten, 19, of Byron, Ill.

Lance Cpl Patten was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif.; attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward); killed Dec. 1 by an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Fallujah, Iraq.

Author: Lindsay Kus
Posted On: Monday, December 19, 2005

Rockford--Family and friends say good-bye to a Byron Marine killed in combat.

Monday more than 100 people paid their respects to 19-year-old Lance Corporal Andrew Patten.

Patten, or Andy as his friends call him, died just two weeks ago on a battlefield in Iraq. Family, former Byron High School classmates, fellow veterans, and community members came to the Maywood Evangelical Free Church in Rockford to say good-bye to the very special young man.

His friend Matt Nyberg says, "It's so hard. It's sad to say good-bye but I like to think of it more of a memorial of his life. His life was incredible. Incredible, but short."

Born in Byron, Andrew Patten graduated from Byron High School in May of 2004. The following summer he decided to join the Marines. Nyberg says, "He wanted to help people and loved adventures. He loved America. He was proud of it." After a four-month stint in Iraq, Lance Corporal Patten was killed on a battlefield in Fallujah.

Monday tearful friends and family joined together at the funeral service to say good-bye. Former classmates talked about the popular Marine. They called him their best friend. "We had incredible times together. We'll keep those memories for the rest of our lives. We're always gonna remember these memories," says friend Eddie Engelert. Mike Bond adds, "I'm gonna miss being able to talk to him."

And although they want be able to talk to him again, the young men say they're proud of their friend and his bravery overseas. Nyberg says, "It makes you proud you read books about people who were buried in Arlington to know that one of your best friends is buried with some of the bravest men in the country. It makes you proud."

Lance Corporal Andrew Patten was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew G. Patten was killed in action on 12/01/05.

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