JIM THORPE, PA, USA U.S. Army SGT, COMPANY A 1ST BATTALION, 504TH PIR, FORT BRAGG, NC 28310 ABU GHRAIB, IRAQ 09/30/2003
26 year-old SGT Andrew Baddick of Jim Thorpe, Pa.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Fort Bragg, N.C.; drowned Sept. 29, 2003 as he tried to rescue another soldier whose vehicle had entered a canal near Abu Ghraib Prison, Iraq.
As his older sister remembers it, Sgt. Andrew Joseph Baddick never thought twice before rushing to help someone. “He feared nothing,” Elizabeth Hoherchak said. “There was no hesitation in him.”
Baddick had been serving in Afghanistan before going to Iraq, said Charles McHugh, a family friend.
“I knew the boy all his life; I watched him grow up,” McHugh said. “All he wanted to do was be in the Army and be a paratrooper, and he succeeded.” He feared nothing and there was no hesitation in him.
Neighbors remember the youngster for being a hilarious handful; one had even appropriated the nickname “Dennis the Menace” for the blondish mischief-maker. As a teen, he helped out on rafting excursions on the Lehigh River and then worked as a river guide for several years after high school. More than six feet tall and an avid kayaker and swimmer, he was described by friends as having a “lean-and-mean” build.
He was a volunteer fire fighter for Jim Thorpe Fire Company and a volunteer for the ambulance corps.
He was engaged to be married.