Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Anthony D. Hebert dies 'of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle'

LAKE CITY, Minn. — The parents of a 19-year-old Army infantry machine gunner from Lake City who was killed in Iraq said Saturday that they’re proud of their son.

Tony Hebert’s parents, Robert and Laurie Hebert, issued a statement thanking people for their support as they cope with the loss of their son, who they said died Thursday morning during combat.

“If the sorrow we now feel is the price that has to be paid, we accept it to have had the privilege of having known him for the last 19-plus years,” they said. “He will be missed, an irreplaceable treasure lost.”

The Heberts said their son was proud to be a soldier and said they are proud of the honorable man he had become.

Robert Hebert declined to discuss details of how his son died until the military releases a formal statement.

Funeral services, to be handled by Mahn Family Funeral Homes in Lake City, can’t be scheduled until the soldier’s body is brought home.

Hebert, a 2005 graduate of Lincoln High School in Lake City, is remembered by friends and coaches as a leader and competitor.

Steve Randgaard, a fifth-grade teacher and Hebert’s high school golf coach, said Hebert was a dedicated person who was an excellent golfer, was very coachable and took a keen interest in helping the younger players on the team.

“He had a really good work ethic,” Randgaard said. “When he was determined to do something, he would go to it. He was just a quality, classy kid. It’s a tough loss.”

Friends said Hebert was excited about the benefits and opportunities he would encounter in the military and was passionate about becoming a part of the Airborne unit in Iraq.

But, golf teammate Spencer Halder remembers his guidance the most.

“I met him when I was in eighth grade,” Halder said. “He was easy to follow as a leader and was positive about everything. We played together for a while and advanced to sections. That’s when we became good friends.”

From the LaCrosse Tribune