Pa. man among 4 soldiers dead in IED attack

Posted: October 9, 2013 - 4:12am


CARLISLE, Pa. (AP) — An Army Ranger from Carlisle who tried to aid a wounded comrade was among four soldiers killed last week in Afghanistan, military officials said Tuesday.

Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins was killed Oct. 6 when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive in the Zhari District of Kandahar Province.

Hawkins, 25, was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga.

Unit commander Lt. Col. Patrick Ellis said Hawkins was "moving to the aid of a wounded Ranger when he was killed. His actions that night were in keeping with the epitome of the Ranger Creed: 'I will never leave a fallen comrade.'"

In a statement, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command said Hawkins was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Purple Heart. He is survived by his wife, Brittanie M. Hawkins, of Lansing, Kan., and his parents, Roy and Shelia Hawkins, who live in Carlisle.

Roy Hawkins told PennLive.Com that his son, a 2007 graduate of Carlisle High School, joined the Army in 2010.

"He sort of got motivated to join the service. It was sort of a surprise," he said. "Of course, we supported Patrick in his decision."

He went through basic training and then completed airborne and Ranger training before being assigned to the regiment where he became a team leader.

The Sentinel newspaper in Carlisle reported that Hawkins was in the midst of his fourth deployment to Afghanistan.

Also killed in the attack were 24-year-old Pfc. Cody J. Patterson of Philomath, Ore.; 25-year-old 1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno of San Diego, Calif.; and Sgt. Joseph M. Peters, 24, of Springfield, Mo.

The Fayetteville Observer reports Moreno, who volunteered as a Cultural Support Team member, was trained at Fort Bragg and was assigned to a joint special operations task force for her deployment, according to Army Special Operations Command.

Moreno was on her first deployment to Afghanistan, USASOC said.

An Army nurse, she volunteered for the Cultural Support Team and, after training, assessment and selection, deployed in June.

A Cultural Support Team is an all-volunteer force formed in late 2010 that is trained at Fort Bragg.

Moreno was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Meritorious Service Medal, Purple Heart, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and NATO Medal.