Thursday, November 03, 2005

Army Specialist Darren D. Howe

Remember Our Heroes

Army Specialist Darren D. Howe, 21, of Beatrice, Nebraska.

Spc. Howe was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.; died Nov. 3 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, of injuries sustained Oct. 17 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Samarra, Iraq.

Sioux City Journal -- LINCOLN (AP) -- An injured soldier Army Infantryman from Beatrice has died from injuries he sustained from a roadside bomb in Iraq.

Spec. Darren Howe died in Texas on Thursday, said Paul Fox, owner of Fox Funeral Home in Beatrice, which is handling arrangements.

Howe, 21, suffered severe burns on Oct. 17 in Iraq when the vehicle he was driving hit a roadside bomb, his stepfather, Greg Klaus, said last week. Howe and five other soldiers were taken first to Germany and then to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, for treatment, Klaus said.

A message left at the home of Howe's family in Beatrice was not immediately returned Friday night.

Last week, Klaus said Howe helped pull soldiers to safety after the bombing. Howe, a married father of two young children, suffered second- and third-degree burns to his face, hands and arms, and smoke inhalation, Klaus said.

Howe graduated from Beatrice High School in 2003 and had a strong desire to pursue a career in the military, said Jason Sutter, the school's principal. Sutter said last he heard, Howe's condition was improving.

"We were very grateful he was OK, and that he was back and safe," he said.

Howe was stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., and was deployed to Iraq in January.

Darren D. Howe was determined to join the Army. So determined, in fact, that he tried unsuccessfully five times to get active duty status after he graduated high school in 2003.

He finally made it after enlisting the help of a state senator.

"I know he had a plan. He was very determined to make a career in the military, and he was very excited about it," said Kelly Meyer, his high school choir teacher.

Howe, 21, of Beatrice, Neb., was killed Nov. 3 of injuries from a roadside bomb Oct. 17 in Samarra. He was assigned to Fort Benning.

Even as a child playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, he always wanted to be a defender of good, said his wife, Nakia. He also is survived by a daughter, Shaye-Maleigh, 3, and a son, Gary-Dean, 1.

He believed his military service was not only a means to provide for his family but a way to make the world they grew up in a better place, his wife said.

"He wanted to give his daughter a life. He wanted to give her things that we couldn't have when we were growing up. He was a loving dad. He gave her everything that she needed. He was the best dad I've ever seen in a young man."

Army Specialist Darren D. Howe died on 11/03/05 from injuries sustained in the line of duty on 10/17/05.

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