Saturday, March 24, 2007

Terry W. Prater dies of injuries from I.E.D.

PRESTONBURG, Ky. --An Army sergeant killed in Iraq last week was remembered by his father as a dedicated soldier who loved to fish.

Staff Sgt. Terry W. Prater, 25, of Speedwell, Tenn., died along with four other soldiers when their vehicle struck an explosive, the military said. They were assigned to the 1st Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Prater grew up in eastern Kentucky before moving with his mother to Tennessee during high school, said his father, Terry D. Prater of Floyd County.

Terry W. Prater received the Silver Star for jumping on another soldier to protect him from a grenade about three years ago, his father said. He was injured in the attack and received a Purple Heart.

However, he returned to Iraq after recovering from several injuries, including losing part of his jaw bone and having shrapnel embedded in various places on his body.

"I didn't like it at all, but he said he had a job to do. He was dedicated," Terry D. Prater said.

The soldier is survived by his wife, Amy Prater of Speedwell, Tenn., a son, 5, and daughter, 1.

Terry D. Prater said his son wanted to become a teacher but planned to wait until his wife obtained a nursing degree.

He said he last saw his son while visiting in Fort Hood, Texas, about five months ago.

"He loved fishing more than anybody I've ever seen," and also hunted deer and turkey, Terry D. Prater said.

Before his death, Prater told his wife he wanted to be cremated. A memorial service will be held in Tennessee on Sunday.

From the Herald