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Andrew Riedel


U.S. Marine Corps


10/30/2004, Al Anbar Province, Fallujah, Iraq

Andrew was one of the bright lights of my life; the only boy with 3 sisters, he was mischievous, loving, soft hearted, cared about others and always had a big smile for everyone as a child. That did not change when he grew older. He added 4 stepsisters and 3 stepbrothers to his list of people to love. As a young boy and teenager he loved to play pranks and dress up for Halloween with his friends DJ and Chad.

When he was in the beginning of his senior year he decided to join the Marine Corp. He hurt for the families and victims of 9-11 and could not believe that the United States had been attacked. That is when he decided to join, he said, “I want to protect my family and my country, I don’t want to see this happen again.” Before he left I tried to get him to be baptized with us as a family, he said he didn’t know what he believed when it came to God, so I left it alone.

I received a letter from Andrew, his last letter home, that talked about life on the ship going over and things they were doing. Towards the end of the letter he wrote: “It gets pretty boring on the ship, you have a lot of thinking time, and now that I am on the thinking subject, I have been thinking a lot about God. I have realized that I have been praying for all the wrong things and I have been selfish. So now I just accept Him in my heart and mind”. I received that letter exactly 1 month before Andrew was killed.

The day Andrew died they had been out on a 7 day mission and were on their way back to camp; their truck was hit by a white suburban filled with explosives. Andrew and 7 other Marine brothers died instantly.

Andrew was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii. He received the Purple Heart, and the Navy Commendation Medal with bronze V device. He also received a Hawaii Medal of Honor, which I believe is the only state currently giving Medal of Honor’s to its fallen heroes.

Andrew’s portrait is also on Poster 10

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