Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Patrick L. Wade dies 'as a result of enemy action while conducting combat operations'

Friends and high school classmates of Chief Petty Officer Pat Wade, who was killed Tuesday in Iraq, say he was a fun-loving guy who had looked forward to joining the military.

The mother of the 38-year-old Navy explosives technician said a roadside bomb killed her son.

“They were just on a convoy. They were going to take care of some explosives and their vehicle was hit by a very deep charge,” Shirley Wade said. “He was a very outgoing young man. He enjoyed the service and his family. I just really can’t talk about that.”

Wade was deployed to Iraq about two months ago, the 70-year-old woman said.

Wade graduated in 1987 from Little Wolf High School. He went straight into the Navy after graduation.

Wade has a wife, Kari, a California native, and two children, ages 10 months and 3, according to his sister-in-law, Ann Wade, of Royalton. They live in Oak Harbor, Wash.

“His wife was not home when she got the word and she had to fly home and I guess they are sending his remains to Germany and then to Dover, Delaware,” Ann Wade said.

Kevin Bartel said Wade was a bit of a class clown.

“And he was big on the military back then already,” Bartel said. “We played in the band together and I remember we used to go over to his house by Bear Lake after games and do all those kind of things that high school kids like to do.”

Wade is the 76th member of the armed forces from Wisconsin killed in Iraq. As of Tuesday, more than 3,600 members of the U.S. military had died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

Deb Watry, superintendent of Little Wolf High School in Manawa where Wade graduated, said Wade has a nephew still attending the school.

News of Wade’s death saddened residents in the central Wisconsin community of about 1,350 people, Watry said. “It is our first loss in a very small community. It impacts a lot of people.”

From the Appleton Post Crescent