Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wednesday Hero ~ Nathan H Hardy, Navy Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL)

Navy Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Nathan H. Hardy
Navy Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Nathan H. Hardy
29 years old from Durham, New Hampshire
East Coast-based SEAL team
February 4, 2008


It was Hardy's fourth deployment in Iraq, according to his father, Stephen Hardy, a professor of kinesiology a the University of New Hampshire. His mother, Donna Hardy, is an administrative assistant in UNH's psychology department.

Nathan Hardy grew up in Durham and was a 1997 graduate of Oyster River High School. He joined the Navy after graduation.

Other family members include his wife, Mindy, and their 7-month-old son, Parker; and a brother, Ben, of Middlebury, Vt.

Another brother, Josh, died in 1993 while a senior at Oyster River High School.

"Our hearts go out to Steve and Donna Hardy, and their son, Ben, at this incredibly difficult time," UNH President Mark Huddleston said in a statement. "We know it was Nate's dream to become a U.S. Navy SEAL when he graduated from high school, and he pursued that dream and excelled at it. His death has stunned all who knew him, and all who know his parents, who both are so much a part of the UNH community."

Navy SEAL Nathan Hardy died Feb. 4 after being wounded by small-arms fire during combat operations in Iraq.


These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives
so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday.
For that, I am proud to call them Hero.


This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.


Union Leader– Friends, family and former classmates are mourning Nathan H. Hardy, 29, a Navy SEAL killed in Iraq Monday by small arms fire during combat.

The special warfare operator chief petty officer was on his fourth deployment in Iraq, according to his father, University of New Hampshire professor Stephen H. Hardy.

"The fact that he was willing to sacrifice himself for his country and his men speaks to his courage and his goodness," said Ginny Tagliaferro, one of Hardy's math teachers at Oyster River High School, where he graduated in 1997. "His loss is a profound one for all of us."

Hardy and his wife, Mindi, have a 7-month-old son, Parker.

The Durham man had wanted to join the elite Navy SEALs since high school, where he was a star soccer player.

Hardy enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Nov. 4, 1997, and graduated from boot camp in January 1998, according to Lt. David Luckett, a Department of Defense spokesman.

Hardy had been awarded the Bronze Star and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and had campaign medals from Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and the global war on terror.

He was one of two sailors assigned to East Coast-based SEAL teams in Virginia Beach, Va., killed on Monday; the other was Chief Petty Officer Michael E. Koch, 29, of State College, Pa.

Murphy Kasiewicz, 32, spoke with Hardy's father after hearing the news of his death.

"The first thing Steve does is tell me tell me what happens, then he was trying to make me feel better. Then he told me that Josh has got his little brother back," Kasiewicz said, referring to Nathan's older brother, who died of cancer in 1993.

"It is definitely rough for them; they have been through a lot losing one son. I can't imagine losing another," Kasiewicz said.

Hardy is survived by a brother, Ben, of Middlebury, Vt.; his mother, Donna, an administrative assistant at the University of New Hampshire; and father Steve, a professor of kinesiology at the school.

"He had that kind of personality that people gravitate to," said Mike Marenga, whose children grew up alongside the Hardys. "He loved what he did, that was obvious."

Officials from the University of New Hampshire said their hearts go out to the entire Hardy family.

"We know it was Nate's dream to become a U.S. Navy SEAL when he graduated from high school, and he pursued that dream and excelled at it," UNH President Mark Huddleston said in a written statement. "His death has stunned all who knew him, and all who know his parents, who both are so much a part of the UNH community."

Friends and associates around the region were mourning his death Tuesday.

Laura Rogers, principal at Oyster River High School, said many teachers were deeply saddened to learn of casualty. Rogers said the Hardys are a well-respected family in Durham and the school had created a scholarship yearly to a student proficient in art to honor Josh's memory.

"This is a family that maintained ties to the school," she said.

Nathan was remembered by his Oyster River English teacher and soccer coach, Martin Brewer, for being a dedicated student and soccer player."

Nate was a great player who relished physical challenges. Whether defending like a lion in the heart of our defense or being part of my backup plan to attack the opposing goal, he always came through," Brewer said. "He played the game the right way which is with 100 percent commitment, said Brewer. "If he tackled any endeavor, you had better believe it was with every fiber of his being — Nate attacked life with vigor. He became a husband, a father and everything that we in safer walks of life look up to in awe. I'll never forget his kindness to me as a new coach and teacher at Oyster River."

Math teacher Ginny Tagliaferro at ORSD also said Nathan was defined by his kindness."As a student, classmate and teammate, Nate was honest, committed and kind to those around him. He was a caring individual who supported his friends, his teachers and his community. His family was of paramount importance to him. The fact that he was willing to sacrifice himself for his country and his men speaks to his courage and his goodness. His loss is a profound one for us all."

The UNH community was also touched by Nathan's death."Our hearts go out to Steve and Donna Hardy, and their son, Ben, at this incredibly difficult time," said University of New Hampshire President Mark Huddleston. "We know it was Nate's dream to become a U.S. Navy SEAL when he graduated from high school, and he pursued that dream and excelled at it. His death has stunned all who knew him, and all who know his parents, who both are so much a part of the UNH community."

Barbara Arrington, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, sent an email to the college's faculty and staff today. It read, in part, "Our heartfelt thoughts go out to both of them and their family at this terrible time."

Nathan grew up in Durham and enlisted in the Navy on Nov. 4, 1997, after graduating from Oyster River High School, with the ambition to become a Navy SEAL. He graduated from boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill., in January 1998 and in the same month entered Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL training in Coronado, Calif., Class 221.

He served his entire career with East Coast-based SEAL Teams rather than attending various schools, according to Lt. David Luckett, Naval Special Warfare Group Two public affairs officer.

He was predeceased by his older brother, Josh, who died of brain cancer in 1993 while a senior at Oyster River High School.

His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, three Good Conduct Medals, two National Defense Medals, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, three Sea Service deployment awards, NATO Medal, Expert Rifle Medal, and the Sharpshooter Pistol Medal.

1 comment:

Cop The Truth said...

Haven't trained and worked with SEALs, I know what exceptional troops these guys are. To lose one is indeed significant. God speed...