BLANDING, UT, USA U.S. Army SFC, COMPANY C, 2D BATTALION, 1ST SPECIAL FORCES GROUP, FORT LEWIS, WA DIWANIYAH, IRAQ 06/26/2007
Sergeant Nathan Winder, who grew up in Blanding, Utah, died June 26, 2007 from small-arms fire while assisting soldiers in combat outside Diwaniyah, Iraq. He was a Special Forces medic assigned to an airborne unit. Winder was part of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, out of Fort Lewis, Washington.
A native of Seoul, South Korea, Winder was 2 when he was adopted by Tom and Terri Winder of Blanding. “The fact that he was abandoned at such an early age affected him all his life,” Terri Winder said. “He was very tender, even though he had created a hard shell on the outside. And he laughed a lot.”
He left the area 14 years ago to pursue a career in the armed forces. Winder was the third member of his family to serve in Iraq, Boyle said. Two of Winder’s brothers also served. “When the other two were in Iraq, Nathan had a hard time with that,” his mother said. “He didn’t like it that his brothers were serving in the war and he was here at home. He wanted to be over there serving his country. Then his turn came.” He is one of eight children his parents adopted in addition to their 10 biological children.
Terri Winder remembers her son as a soft-hearted man with a tough shell who was loyal to friends and family and loved children. “He cared about other people,” the Blanding mother said of her son, Nathan. “He loved the children in Iraq and carried teddy bears and things to give them. He was trying to help two Iraqi children come to the states for medical attention.”
Winder, who joined the military immediately upon graduation from high school in Blanding, was dispatched to Iraq in January 2007. He called his wife almost every day, Terri Winder said. When there was no word on Tuesday, his wife, who is living in Canada with her sister, got worried. Then the military arrived to notify her of her husband’s death.
Terri Winder says that Nathan and his other two brothers who served in Iraq were “proud of the work they did,” and the Winder family stood firmly behind them and the Iraq military effort. “All of my sons feel good about what they did in Iraq,” she said. “None of them feel the press represents the good things that happen there. [Nathan] felt like they were making a difference. He said, ‘They don’t know what we’re offering them. They’ve never tasted freedom before.’ “
Nathan Winder is survived by his wife, his 11-year-old son by a previous marriage, Logan, of Herkimer, New York, his parents and siblings.
Nathan Winder was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Media, Iraqi Campaign Medal and Combat Infantryman’s Badge