OREGON, IL, USA U.S. Army PFC, PRT JBAD KOT, AFGHANISTAN 03/15/2009
Private First Class Norman Cain III, 22, of Mount Morris in suburban Chicago died at the scene of the attack in Kot, Afghanistan, on Sunday, according to the National Guard.
Twenty-three-year-old Sgt. Christopher Abeyta of the Chicago suburb of Midlothian and 24-year-old Sgt. Robert Weinger of Round Lake Beach both died later that day at a base in Jalalabad. Round Lake Beach is about 50 miles north of Chicago.
An airman, 24-year-old Staff Sgt. Timothy L. Bowles of Tucson, Ariz., also died Sunday in the attack.
“Facing the loss of three more Illinois National Guard Soldiers is devastating,” Major General William Enyart, adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard, said in a news release. “While this is a sad day for the Illinois National Guard, we will remember these soldiers by their bravery and the sacrifice they made for us all.”
Cain was a married father of a son and a stepdaughter on his first deployment, while Abeyta and Weinger were single, according to the National Guard. Weinger was in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, while Abeyta was deployed from October 2003 through early 2005 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Cain, on his page at the MySpace social networking Web site, called himself a redneck and a family man.
“I am devoted to my family and damn proud of it,” he wrote. “I am a country boy. Love working on cars and being outdoors. Avid bowhunter. Yes – I’m a redneck.”
While in Afghanistan, Spc. Norman L. Cain III helped rebuild roads, schools and hospitals. He was a mechanic at home and carried a lot of those skills with him overseas.
“Not only was he an active driver for our team, but the platoon. If they were down a driver, he’d volunteer to go help,” said Cain’s team leader, Richard Davis.
“I want him to be remembered not only as a hero, which he was, but also as a devoted husband and father. He was our world,” said his wife, Brigette.
“He was amazing. He was always there if you ever needed him, he’d be there and if he couldn’t be there he’d try talking you through stuff if you’re down or anything,” said Cain’s cousin, Private First Class David Pfile.
He also is survived by a son, Toryn, 1, and Brigette’s daughter, Fallon Speilman, 3.
“He was always the one that wanted to have a good time and never wanted to be down. He’ll be loved and remembered honorably and with respect,” said Pfile.