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KuangSi2

Tonight we honor the lives of three men:

Pvt. Patrick S. Fitzgibbon, 19, of Knoxville, Tn, Pfc. Richard K. Jones, 21, of Roxboro, N.C. Pvt. Keiffer P. Wilhelm, 19, of Plymouth, Ohio.

Please join us in learning a little about these lives that ended too soon and mattered so much to so many.

KuangSi2
Pvt. Patrick S. Fitzgibbon died Aug. 1 in Mushan Village, Afghanistan, when his patrol was attacked with improvised explosive devices and rocket-propelled grenades. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

Patrick Fitzgibbon was a bit of a rebel, although he was a lighthearted troublemaker who loved to make people laugh. His oldest brother John remembered that he always made people feel better with his personal brand of humor:


He wants you to celebrate the love. ... If you were sad, he’d do anything to make you smile.

Patrick loved to make short comedy films and post them to the internet. But he had a more serious side, as well. He first became disilluioned with school, dropped out, and got his GED. After a time, he became serious about his direction in life and enlisted in the military. His brother John recalled:

He joined the Army to stand for his country. That’s the only reason he did it. He loved doing what he did.

Knox News

KuangSi2

Fitzgibbon's JROTC instructor from high school, First Sergant Calvin Hartwell, remembered him as someone who at one time was not a shining example of a cadet, but in the end became quite determined about serving his country. Fitzgibbon came to visit him in March, clean cut and very focused. Hartwell has already chosen where Patrick's marker will go in the school's memorial garden. Hartwell told Knox News:

Anytime you give your life for your country, we have to look at you as a hero.

Since he deployed, he kept regular contact with his fiancee and family. The only days he didn’t call were days when he was deployed on a mission. He is survived by his parents, his fiancee, four brothers, and one sister.

His medals include National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

KuangSi2
Go in peace, Pvt. Patrick S. Fitzgibbon. Thank you for your service.


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KuangSi2
Pfc. Richard K. Jones died Aug. 1 in Mushan Village, Afghanistan, when his patrol was attacked with improvised explosive devices and rocket-propelled grenades. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

There is little personal information available about Richard, except that he was a high school wrestler, and that he worked as a diesel mechanic for a time after graduation. He enlisted in the Army last September. Freedom Remembered

His mother, Franceen Jones, said that Richard was a loving person who cared deeply about friends and family. She said that he wanted to join the Army out of a sense of service to the people he loved:

Joining the military was something Richie really wanted to do. It was his way of doing his duty and serving his country. I’m proud my son was able to serve his country to keep the United States free. Roxboro-Courier

Jones' awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Army Service Ribbon and the Combat Infantry Badge.

KuangSi2
Go in peace, Pfc. Richard K. Jones. Thank you for your service.


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KuangSi2
Pvt. Keiffer P. Wilhelm died August 4 in Maysan province, Iraq, of injuries sustained from a non-combat incident that is under investigation. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 13th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.

Wilhelm graduated from Willard High School in Plymouth, Ohio last fall, and enlisted in the Army last December. He was known for playing jokes and giving enormous bear hugs that would lift folks off of their feet. He loved music, and had a budding interest in computers. He thought of pursuing a technical career in the military.

Keiffer's father said that he had the loudest laugh in the world. El Paso Times

KuangSi2Keiffer grew up in a military family. His father was Navy Veteran of Operation Desert Storm, and his brother is currently serving in the Air Force. He joined the Army out of a sense of service and to walk in his family's footsteps. He looked up to his brother particularly, and wanted to follow his example. His father, Adrian "Shane" Wilhelm remembered:

He would never retaliate against anyone, but if you ever got hurt, he was the first one there to pick you up.

The family last saw him in May when he stood as the best man at his brother's wedding. They last heard from him by text message a few weeks ago. He is survived by his parents and step-parents, a brother, sister, two step-sisters, and a step-brother. His family will host a memorial service for Keiffer’s friends in Plymouth.

Wilhelm earned the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

KuangSi2
Go in peace, Pvt. Keifer P Wilhelm. Thank you for your service.


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KuangSi2IGTNT was created by i dunno, and is currently maintained by Sandy on Signal, monkeybiz, greenies, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, roses, SisTwo, SpamNunn, a girl in MI, JeNoCo, mediaprof, noweasels, and me, rb137.  

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Please remember that these comments will be read by friends and family who are torn by grief. Let us please leave politics aside as we enter and offer our respects and compassion.

Originally posted to rb137 on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 05:11 PM PDT.

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