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Thread: Two Navy SEALs Killed in Iraq
02-13-08, 05:44 PM #1Corporal
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Two Navy SEALs Killed in Iraq
Two Navy SEALs Killed in Iraq
Virginian-Pilot | By Louis Hansen and Jim Washington | February
Two SEALs, both decorated chief petty officers with deep military
ties, were killed during combat Monday in Iraq.
Nathan Hardy and Michael E. Koch, both 29, were slain by small- arms
fire during anti-insurgent operations, the Navy announced Tuesday.
Hardy, originally from Durham, N.H., is the grandson of two World War
II veterans, according to his father, Steve Hardy. One grandfather
served aboard PT-109 with John F. Kennedy, the young officer who would
Koch, whose family is in State College, Pa., has a brother serving in
Iraq, and both of his parents have worked as contractors in the Middle
Sixteen locally based SEALs have been killed during combat in Iraq and
Afghanistan since 2002, according to data compiled by The Virginian-Pilot.
Nathan Hardy wanted to be a SEAL since he was in sixth grade, his
father said Tuesday night in an interview at Hardy's Virginia Beach
home. He heard stories about his grandfather being rescued by Kennedy
from the sinking patrol boat and set his sights on a Navy career.
"Nate was very proud of his Navy heritage," Hardy said.
He was also a talented, aggressive soccer and lacrosse player at
Oyster River High School, his father recalled.
"He probably got too many fouls," Hardy said, and smiled. "As a
midfielder, he was a good Navy SEAL."
Hardy enlisted after high school, in November 1997 and, after boot
camp, completed SEAL basic training in Coronado, Calif. He served his
entire special warfare career on the East Coast. Hardy was awarded the
Bronze Star and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals. He was
making his fourth deployment to Iraq.
The small high school attended by the three Hardy sons held a moment
of silence on Tuesday, said principal Laura Rogers. Even though he
graduated 10 years ago, she said, "people remember him. They are
feeling the loss."
Hardy was the youngest of three boys. The oldest, Josh, died of cancer
when Nathan was in eighth grade. But Steve Hardy said he did not worry
about his son's dangerous job.
"We had lost one son. Our philosophy has been you live life to the
fullest," he said.
Hardy is survived by his wife, Mindy, and a 7-month-old son, Parker.
Koch leaves behind his parents, a brother, a sister, and a fiancee.
He also spent his entire special warfare career on the East Coast. He
enlisted in July 1998 and entered SEAL training in January 1999.
During his career, he received the Bronze Star, Joint Service
Commendation Medal and three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.
Dee Brown, Koch's aunt who lives in Williamsport, Pa., said the SEAL
came from a family where military values run deep.
He and his sister were born on an Air Force base in Omaha, Neb., and
his brother, Matthew, was born on another base in New Mexico.
Their mother, Jean, was on her way back from Afghanistan on Tuesday
night, where she has an accounting job with a U.S. contractor. Their
father, Donald, a 20-year Air Force veteran, returned from his job in
Iraq about six weeks ago.
They had seen each other just a few weeks ago for Christmas.
"We were so fortunate that we were all able to be together," Brown said.
The family is close, she said, so much so that while Koch was going
through his SEAL training in 1999 his father camped out in the woods,
trying to put himself through some of the same experiences his son was
Family outings might include jumping out of airplanes or going scuba
diving, Brown said.
Koch didn't like to talk about his military experiences, according to
Brown, though she said it was obvious he loved what he was doing.
"He was humble," she said. "He would prefer that we didn't talk about
it. He would just say, 'It's my job.'
Matthew Koch also is in the military serving in Iraq. He will
accompany his brother's body home.
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02-13-08, 06:36 PM #2
Where do we get such men?
I'm your huckleberry...
Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!
You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.
I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
but every girl I found was either one way or the other...
02-14-08, 08:51 AM #3
RIPCalm Like A Bomb...
“A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”
02-14-08, 09:13 AM #4
Rest in peace.
02-14-08, 09:15 AM #5
02-14-08, 10:27 AM #6
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