The deaths of three 3rd Infantry Division soldiers serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom were reported Monday by the Department of Defense. All three died from wounds suffered from improvised explosive device blasts.
Pfc. Nicholas E. Riehl, 21, of Shiocton, Wis., died April 27 in Fallujah, when an IED detonated near his unit during combat patrol.
Riehl was a cavalry scout assigned to the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team and stationed at Fort Stewart in April 2006.
His uncle, Robin Riehl, told WBAY-TV in Green Bay, Wis., his nephew joined the Army in November 2005 to earn money for college.
While in Iraq, Riehl formed the band, For This I Die. He created a MySpace page to post the band’s songs and keep in touch with friends and family back home.
Robin Riehl said his family is having trouble coming to terms with his nephew’s death, but they are all proud of his courage to enlist in the military and serve his country.
Two other members of the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, Spc. Eddie D. Tamez, 21, and Pfc. David A. Kirpatrick, 20, also died in Fallujah on April 27 when an IED detonated near their vehicle during combat operations.
Tamez, a native of Galveston, Texas, was a chemical operations specialist who joined the Army in July 2004 and was stationed at Fort Stewart in June 2006.
He had recently committed to three more years in the Army, despite his family’s protests, because he felt an obligation to serve his country in Iraq, his brother Francisco Dunn told KSWO-TV in Wichita Falls, Texas.
He is survived by his wife, Keyris Sanchez Tamez.
Kirpatrick, a native of Upland, Ind., was a light-wheel mechanic who joined the Army in January 2006 and arrived at Fort Stewart in July of the same year.
Friends said Kirkpatrick loved working on cars and also cracking jokes when nobody thought he was paying attention.
His sister, Jennie Kirkpatrick, told WISH-TV in Indianapolis, Ind., that her brother “was very proud, very, very proud to serve his country and if he was going to die, he would have wanted to die fighting for freedom and fighting for those people.”
According to military figures, more than 104 soldiers died in Iraq in April, making it the deadliest month this year for U.S troops.