Pa. Native Killed Serving in Afghanistan

A Pennsylvania native died trying to help a fellow soldier while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Carlisle, Pa.-native Sgt. Patrick Hawkins, 25, was on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan, assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Fort Benning, Ga. He and three others died from injuries sustained from an improvised explosive device explosion in Kandahar Province on Oct. 6.

Hawkins was born Oct. 1, 1988 and enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduating from high school.

He completed training at Fort Benning, Ga., as an infantryman. And later graduated from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program before being assigned to Company B where he served as a rifleman, gun team leader and Ranger team leader.

"Hawkins was a brave and incredibly talented Ranger," said Lt. Col. Patrick J. Ellis, Commander of 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. "He 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.'"

His awards and decorations included the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the U.S. Army Expert Rifle Marksmanship Qualification Badge, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and many more accolades.

"Hawkins dedicated himself to serving our Nation and ultimately gave his life in her defense," said Col. Christopher S. Vanek, Commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment.  "Those who knew him understood he was man of character and commitment.  He excelled as a Ranger Team Leader, always leading from the front and highly respected by all of his fellow Rangers who fought with him.  His loss is felt by the entire Regiment."

He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Purple Heart.

Hawkins is survived by his wife, Brittanie M. Hawkins and his parents, Roy and Shelia Hawkins.

Also killed in the attack were Pfc. Cody Patterson, 24, of Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Fort Benning, Ga.; 1st Lt. Jennifer Moreno, 25, of Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; and Special Agent Joseph Peters, 24, of the 286th Military Police Detachment (CID), 5th Military Police Battalion, Vicenza, Italy.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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