Another soldier from Oregon has passed from this life into the next. Whenever we loose any soldier, I grieve, but I promised myself I would pay tribute to each Oregonian. By doing so, I get a glimpse of who they were, and the grieving is even deeper.
September 3, 2006, in Mosul, Iraq, a roadside bomb claimed the life of SFC Richard Henkes, age 33. He was attached to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Washington. This was his second deployment to Iraq. He had been there in 2003.
SFC Henkes grew up in Boring, Oregon and was a graduate of Clackamas High School, where he ran track and wrestled. His passion was snowboarding.
His sister, Army Captain Linda Bass, said, "He loved what he was doing, and he was very, very good at what he did. It's what he knew and believed in. He believed in serving his country and doing something that would have a positive effect. He believed he was doing something for the greater good." She added that he believed in the mission in Iraq.
Capt. Bass will fly to Dover Air Force Base to accompany her brother's body home as his official military escort.
SFC Henkes is survived by his five year old daughter, Isabel, his parents and four sisters and two brothers.
In searching for information about SFC Richard Henkes, I found this very moving piece here. A brief excerpt:
"I watched brave men and women wage a battle to save a man's life this past Sunday morning. As I stood there, I hoped and prayed that the soldier would somehow pull through. My prayers were futile; the injury to his head was too severe. Not long after he came into the emergency room, he passed into eternity."
Please read it. You will be touched by the warmth and love that surrounds our fallen in the field.