BATTLE GROUND, WA, USA
PFC, HHD, SPECIAL TROOPS BATTALION, 173D INFANTRY, BAMBERG, GERMANY
Jalalabad, Afghanistan, 05/31/2008
Private First Class Andrew J Shields was killed on May 31st, 2008 in Jalalabad Afghanistan. He was a passenger in the third HUMVEE of a convoy. A vehicle borne IED swerved into their vehicle and exploded. Andrew was killed instantly. Another soldier, Specialist Matthew Finley was also killed.
From Andrews father Jon:
Andrew was born on 8 September 1988 at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue,WA. When Andrew was 6 months old his mother and I moved to Vancouver, WA. Andrew attended Kings Way Christian School until the six grade. When Andrew was seven I married my wife Carol, Andrew’s Step-mother. Not long after that we moved to Battle Ground, WA where Andrew started attending school.
Andrew attended Battle Ground High School. He played football for all 4 years of high school and ran track his junior year. He had his first serious girlfriend, Alyssa his junior year. Andrew was a popular kid, full of smiles and pranks. Many of his friends have said that they could always count on him to listen, be a shoulder to cry on or give them a helping hand when asked. Andrew and his best friend, Trey formed a small group of friends who called themselves the “Thrill Billy’s”. Andrew lived his life to the fullest.
In his senior year, Andrew truly began to grow into the man he would soon become. Andrew joined the Clark County Fire and Rescue Cadet program. He quickly excelled and strove to become a leader. Andrew was appointed the Cadet Battalion Chief for the first year cadets. Andrew was a motivator, and pushed the cadets to maximize their potential and his own.
Andrew also enjoyed shooting sports when he was introduced to competitive pistol shooting. Before Andrew left for Basic Training he could completely disassemble and reassemble the AR in only a few seconds and shoot it expertly. Andrew joined the Army while still a junior in high school. While many of his friends struggled with what they were going to do after high school, Andrew could tell them what day he was leaving, where he was going, and what he was going to do.
Andrew chose to be an Airborne Combat Medic. I too had been a paratrooper and a medic in the Army and later became a paramedic. Andrew had grown-up learning of Emergency Medicine and was exposed to it during his year as a Fire Cadet. Andrew knew that he could bring his experience as a Combat Medic home with him and put it to good use. By this time in Andrew’s life, I was a full time Deputy Sheriff and worked with SWAT as a Tactical Medic. Andrew once said how cool it would be to have a father and son medics on the team.
From Major Scott Carbaugh, USAF
I was the Medical officer in charge of what is now know as FOB Finley-Shields 2008. I would just like to say that, though I’m so sorry for your loss, I am so very proud of your son’s service – what he gave to and for his country. I can honestly say that he was among the sharpest, brightest and most dedicated young soldiers out there. Troops like Andrew rejuvenated my faith in the future of the Armed Services. There were days I’d honestly have my doubts, but soldiers such as Andrew kept my faith alive – I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I have sons that are a just a couple of years younger than Andrew – I truly hope they can one day display his patriotism, sense of duty to a higher calling and bravery.
My prayers have been with your family and Andrew every day since 31 May 2008 – and always will be. Although the time I knew him was very brief, I feel honored to have served with your son.