Friday, September 22, 2006

Harley Andrews killed; leaves behind wife, child

Harley Andrews, killed last week in Iraq, went overseas shortly after his son Ayden, now 1-year-old, was born.

Pvt. Harley Dean Andrews of Weimar would have been out of Iraq and back home with his wife and infant son in less than a month, but he died in combat Sept. 11.

His 20-year-old widow, Halley Andrews, a former Lou Labonte's employee, was living in Bramberg, Germany with the couple's 1-year-old son, Ayden, when she heard the news.

"We love him and miss him," Halley Andrews said Monday. "There's nothing anyone can say or do to make us feel better."

Her mother, Carolyn Cardinal, said Monday that Halley is devastated.

"She was there with Ayden when the officers came and told her," Cardinal said. "She's a widow at age 20 with a baby. She's just stunned right now."

Harley Andrews, 22, grew up in Yuba City. He was assigned to the 54th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, Warner barracks in Bramberg, Germany.

Andrews was on patrol Sept. 11 in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. He died as a result of his injuries.

Cardinal said her son-in-law was respectful and good at getting what he wanted.

"He met Halley when she was only 16 and waited (to date her) until she was 18," she said. "He was so respectful of our wishes. He was really in love with Halley."

Harley Andrews' mother, Kim Barlow, lives in Portland, Ore. She said Monday her son loved the outdoors and had a close-knit group of friends.

He liked hunting, fishing and disc golf," she said. "(He was) very much an outdoors guy."

He joined the U.S. Army after completing his GED because "it's what he thought was best," Barlow said.

She said she has received numerous letters and e-mails from her son's Army buddies.

"From what I've been receiving he was definitely the clown in the bunch, always playing pranks," she said.

Barlow said she plans to memorialize her son by saving all the letters she's received.

"They're his family (too). He knew a lot of people," she said. "I'll put the stories into a book for Ayden."

Read the rest at the Colfax Record