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3rd ID salutes fallen hero
Another tree added to Warriors Walk
john hartman02
Staff Sgt. John L. Hartman Jr.
Staff Sgt. John L. Hartman Jr. volunteered to take the spot of a man in his platoon and was remembered for his unselfish service at a tree dedication ceremony Thursday at Fort Stewart’s Warriors Walk.
Hartman, 39, died of injuries suffered when a roadside bomb detonated near his vehicle during combat operations in Baghdad. He was a trainer on the military transition team at the time. He had been assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team’s 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment.
The 3rd Infantry Division dedicated its first eastern red bud tree and granite marker of the year in honor of Hartman. This latest death brings the number of memorial markers to 318.
“This is indeed a hallowed place,” said Commanding General Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch at the ceremony. “Warriors Walk is a place of enduring service and enduring love.
“We routinely come to this place to remember and this strengthens our resolve to stand for our nation and continue to the global war on terrorism,” he said.
The soldier Hartman replaced was scheduled to go to Iraq, but was allowed to go to Fort Sill to spend time with his newborn son instead, the general said.
“He was good at taking care of his buddies,” Rich Hickey, Hartman’s best friend, said.
Hartman was from Tampa. He had more than 17 years of military service and was remembered as an outdoorsman, avid fisherman and hunter.
He was on his second tour in Iraq and served as a military adviser helping to transition the Iraqi Security forces into the role of securing their country.
“I don’t think he was ever scared of anything in his life,” his father, John Hartman Sr., said. “He just loved the military, that type of life. He thought he could never see the world by staying at home.”
John Hartman Sr., along with Hartman's two children, attended the ceremony.
“He was a loving father, a son and a brother,” Lynch said. “He paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
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