PFC Richard A. Dewater, 21, of Topeka, Kansas, died April 15, 2009 of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device, while on a dismounted patrol near Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
Known as Rick, he joined the Army at age 20, graduated June 6, married June 17 and deployed to Afghanistan on July 27. His father described him "He loved fishing. He loved guns. He loved what he was doing. He dedicated himself to it. He believed in what he was doing."
In his own words, about himself, Rick said, "I like the outdoors. I fish, camp, paintball....all that cool outdoor stuff. I'm into cruisin around with my buddies around town, and gotta throw in some stupid s&%t from time to time, you know? Just stuff for a good laugh from time to time. I like playin my guitars too. been playing on and off a few years."
From Rick's MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/Rick785
I AM THE INFANTRY, I AM MY COUNTRY'S STRENGTH IN WAR, HER DERRENT IN PEACE, I AM THE HEART OF THE FIGHT, WHEREVER, WHENEVER. I CARRY AMERICA'S FAITH AND HONOR AGAINST HER ENEMIES, I AM THE QUEEN OF BATTLE I AM WHAT MY COUNTRY EXPECTS ME TO BE, THE BEST TRAINED SOLDIER IN THE WORLD IN THE RACE FOR VICTORY, I AM SWIFT, DETERMINED, AND COURAGEOUS, ARMED WITH THE FIERCE WILL TO WIN. NEVER WILL I FAIL MY COUNTRY'S TRUST, ALWAYS I FIGHT ON, THROUGH THE FOE, TO THE OBJECTIVE, TO TRIUMPH OVER ALL. IF NECESSARY, I WILL FIGHT TO MY DEATH. BY MY STEADFAST COURAGE, I HAVE WON OVER 200 YEARS OF FREEDOM. I YIELD NOT TO WEAKNESS, TO HUNGER, TO COWARDICE, TO FATIGUE, TO SUPERIOR ODDS, FOR I AM MENTALLY TOUGH, PHYSICALLY STRONG, AND MORALLY STRAIGHT. I FORSAKE NOT MY COUNTRY, MY MISSION, MY COMRADES, MY SACRED DUTY. I AM RELENTLESS, I AM ALWAYS THERE, NOW AND FOREVER I AM THE INFANTRY.... FOLLOW ME
PFC Richard 'Rick' Dewater will be buried at Roseburg National Cemetery, in Oregon. Oregon was a place that Rick loved and he graduated from high school in Grants Pass, Oregon.
He is survived by his wife, his brother and his parents.
"The first explosion had killed Private Dewater and lifted his body into a tree.
Sgt. Matthew R. Kuhn climbed the branches to free the missing man. In an instant, Second Platoon’s mission had changed. It would carry Private Dewater on the first steps of his journey home.
The soldiers gently rested their friend onto a stretcher, organized into teams of litter bearers and began the long walk back, over the two footbridges, up the Aliabad staircase and past the other soldiers and Marines, who provided security and stood quietly in respect.He was the fourth member of Second Platoon killed during nine months in the valley."
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Farewell, Rick, and Walk with God... You will be missed.