Friday, June 29, 2007

Jerimiah Veitch remembered

McClain County lost one of its own last week in Iraq.

Army Private First Class Jerimiah Veitch, of Dibble, died Thursday when the vehicle in which he was riding was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Veitch is the fourth Oklahoma soldier to be killed in Iraq in the last week.

“Tater,” as he was known to his family and Dibble classmates and friends, volunteered to go out on an especially dangerous patrol, his sister, Amanda Testerman, said.

“While he was atop a hummer, as was his position as the gunman, they passed a concrete wall barrier,” she said. “After they had passed, a coward jumped up from behind the wall and launched the rocket-propelled grenade right at my brother from behind.”

The 21-year-old manned a .50-caliber machine gun on his patrol vehicle.

He had the option to stay behind since he was wounded the week before. Veitch opted to go and not leave his comrades without cover.

The fallen hero was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Division in Fort Carson, Colo.

After he graduated from high school in 2005, the Dibble Demon moved on to fight for his country, his sister said. The Gator Company to which he was assigned was in the Dora area market place just outside of Baghdad.

During his high school years, Testerman said her brother lived and breathed football and weight lifting.

“Jerimiah was the type of guy that if he was going to do something he didn’t do it half way. It was all or nothing,” she said.

“The family takes comfort in knowing that he is no longer waking up in a living hell everyday, but is walking streets of gold,” she said.

Veitch began his tour of duty in October 2006. He returned home a couple of months ago for two weeks leave and returned to Iraq to complete his tour that would end in January.

The private first class is the son of Valorie Sanchez. His stepfather is Tony Sanchez. They moved to the Dibble area his sophomore year from San Jose, Calif., Testerman said.

Veitch had planned to get his name legally changed to Sanchez, because he considered Tony Sanchez to be his real father, Testerman said.

From the Purcell Register

Related Link:
Jerimiah J. Veitch dies 'of wounds suffered when his vehicle was struck with a rocket propelled grenade'