Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Erickson H Petty

Fort Gibson, Oklahoma

May 3, 2004

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
28 Army SSG

Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Armor Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Smith Barracks

Baumholder, Germany

Died in Salman Al Habb, Iraq, from an attack by small arms fire while conducting security of a weapons cache.

Staff Sgt. Eric H. Petty always dreamed of being in the military and following in the steps of his father, a National Guard chief warrant officer. He enlisted on his 17th birthday. "When he was a little boy and you went to his room, you saw toy soldiers and tanks and boats. You didn't see little cars," said Voncille Petty, his grandmother. The soldier from Fort Gibson, Okla., was one day shy of his 29th birthday when he was fatally shot May 3 while guarding a weapons cache in Iraq. He was stationed in Baumholder, Germany. Those who served with Petty recalled his bravery, his grace under pressure, and his protectiveness of the men under his command. He also had a quirky sense of humor, friends said. While leading a church camping trip, he offered his young charges some unusual instruction on wilderness survival. "My son came back and said, 'Brother Petty told us if we didn't eat a worm today that we weren't real men,'" said Tom Barlament, Petty's pastor.

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