Monday, February 26, 2007

Jeremy D. Barnett dies of injuries from land mine

Those who knew Sgt. Jeremy D. Barnett, 27, of Mineral City say it was typical for him to volunteer for the kind of duty that cost him his life.

Barnett answered the call for a volunteer to help on patrol Wednesday at Ad-Dujayl, Iraq, which is north of Baghdad.

“It was his day off, but he volunteered, even though I’d told him not to before he left,” his father, David Barnett of Mineral City, said Monday night. “He was a good kid.”

“He told me he was not going to be a 20-year man who retired without ever seeing combat duty,” said Jeremy’s uncle, Craig Barnett of New Philadelphia.

Jeremy’s mother is Michele Barnett of Hartville, the former Michele Fiddler of Mineral City. He also is survived by three sisters, Natalie of Mineral City and Emily and Rebecca of Hartville.

The soldier died Saturday in Landstuhl Regional Medical Center at Landstuhl, Germany, from “wounds sustained from a landmine detonation,” according to an announcement Monday by the U.S. Department of Defense, which stated he died supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Barnett was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. He leaves behind his wife of six months, Stephanie, who is a member of the Texas National Guard and resides at Fort Hood. She is from Texas, and they met in the service, David Barnett said.

“It was an explosion, but no one seems to know exactly what happened,” Barnett said. “I’m assuming they were out on patrol. I know he got out of the Humvee to check on something and got hit. I heard that it was a rocket propelled grenade. I don’t know if anybody else got hurt.”

Barnett had been staying in contact with his son via e-mail, last being in contact last week.

“We were just talking,” he said. “There’s not a whole lot they can say. He was talking about hunting and that when he would get home, he had a lot of hunting and fishing to catch up on. Deer hunting was his favorite. He hadn’t done any good (hunting) around here on leave, but he did all right while in Texas. Hunting and fishing, that was his life.”

Jeremy attended Sandy Valley High near Magnolia until his junior year and graduated in 2000 from Warren G. Harding High at Warren. He signed up to join the Navy and went in right after graduation, his father said.

“He spent four years on the aircraft carrier George Washington and said he’d seen enough ocean,” his father recalled.

Six months after getting out of the Navy, Jeremy went into the Army. He was in his third year of a four-year hitch and had spent a year stationed at the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea.

Jeremy had earned medals for serving in Korea and other medals for his Navy service, his father said.

“He enjoyed the service, and he did well at it,” Barnett said.

From the Times Reporter