22 Sep 2006:
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 941-06
September 22, 2006
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died in Baghdad, Iraq, on Sept. 14 of injuries suffered when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated in the vicinity of a West Baghdad Substation where they were located.
Sgt. Aaron A. Smith, 31, of Killeen, Texas. Smith was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder, Germany.
Sgt. Jennifer M. Hartman, 21, of New Ringgold, Pa. Hartman was assigned to the 4th Support Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
Cpl. Marcus A. Cain, 20, of Crowley, La. Cain was assigned to the 4th Support Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
Soldier's worst fear realized
Not even her father knew what scared Jennifer Hartman the most
By Jason Brudereck
David Hartman didn't know what his daughter's biggest fear was until a few days ago when he found out she had a Web site.
And then it was right there in front of him on a computer screen.
The MySpace Web site asked what her fears were.
Her only response: “Getting blown up in Iraq.”
His daughter, Sgt. Jennifer M. Hartman, was one of three soldiers killed Sept. 14 when a vehicle containing explosives blew up near the place where they were stationed in West Baghdad, Iraq.
“I didn't know it was her fear to die there until I saw it,” said David, 41. “I started to cry all over again.”
Jennifer, 21, lived with her family in West Penn Township, Schuylkill County.
She is the first Schuylkill County resident killed in Iraq, a review of casualty records shows.
Jennifer was home for a visit in August with David; her mother, Bernice, 40; sister, Katie, 19; and brother, Brian, 17.
Jennifer's death has put their lives on hold, said David, a mechanic.
Katie was to start college this fall, but those plans have been delayed.
The family is concentrating on the funeral, which will be Saturday at Hartman Funeral Home Inc. in West Penn Township.
“We'll get the body this week,” David said. “The funeral is open for everybody. People keep asking what they can do. All I want to do is get a big turnout for her. She was the best kid in the whole world. I want to do the best I can do for her. The best I can do is get a crowd together.”
He said he won't speak at the funeral.
“What can you say about something like this?” he said. “Oh, it's just. Oh. What can you say?”
Jennifer called her family recently.
“It was two, maybe three, weeks ago,” David said. “She talked about how she hoped she'd be coming home soon.”
The family expected her to be home before the end of the year.
A 2003 Tamaqua High School graduate, Jennifer joined the Army shortly after graduation.
She was assigned to the 4th Support Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division based at Fort Hood, Texas.
David said he enjoyed reading Jennifer's Web site on MySpace, the popular social-networking site on the Internet.
“But it hurt me to read her fear was being blown up,” he said. “But that's how kids are. They don't want you to know what's going on.”
On her Web site, she said she wanted to have children some day.
She said she had two more years before she expected to be done serving in the Army so she could return to Pennsylvania and go to college.
"I plan on majoring in business, but that's still pretty far off so I'll let ya know how that goes," she wrote on her Web site. "I have been in Iraq since Dec. 15 and am just around the halfway point."
"Seems like ages away. But hey, I signed the dotted line and I am going to finish what I started."
The 5-foot-5-inch woman with blue eyes said she wanted to go on a cruise when she returned from Iraq.
She said what she missed most was Pennsylvania.
David said he used to do everything with Jennifer.
She loved the outdoors.
"Everything we did, we did outside," he said. "She eventually wanted to sell four-wheelers, motorcycles. She loved her four-wheelers. She wanted to die on her four-wheeler, not over there."
Contact reporter Jason Brudereck at 610-371-5044 or email@example.com.
11 Jun 2006
well not sure what to tell, i have been in iraq for six months and fiqured i see what good folks are out there. i really would like to recieve some letters, i love to hear from the outside world, and i am sure my friends would too, we always right back dont really have time to do to much. some of the females love reading, so some good non-fiction books would be cool. personnel hygiene items are always needed, for the females tampons that are name brand. and any snacks you could think of will be eaten up from any of us. i currently share a room with several females we share everything, i also share some stuff with the guys so anything will be appreciated. so i quess i am representing a squad.