GALVA, IL, USA U.S. Army SGT, TROOP C, 2D SQUADRON, 106TH CAVALRY, AURORA, IL KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN 02/24/2009
One of the two members of the Illinois Army National Guard killed this week in Afghanistan has been promoted posthumously, officials said Thursday. Specialist Schuyler Patch, 25, was killed alongside Sergeant Scott Stream, 39, when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Tuesday.
Patch, of Galva in northwestern Illinois, has been promoted to sergeant, said Guard spokesman Major Brad Leighton. Patch was on his second deployment.
The two men were assisting Afghan National Security Forces on patrol when the bomb exploded. Two other military members and one Afghan civilian were killed, officials said.
Patch graduated from Wethersfield High School in Kewanee in 2002 and the same year served seven months in Iraq.
He was deployed to Afghanistan in December as part of the Illinois National Guard’s largest troop deployment since World War II. Sergeant Schuyler B. Patch was known as very outgoing. “He would talk to anybody,” said Julie Morland,
Patch’s aunt. “He was very lovable and affectionate. Every time I’d see him, he’d give a hug or a kiss on the cheek and ask how I was doing.”
Morland said Patch was “very outdoorsy. He loved fishing and hunting and did a lot of that with his dad,” she said.
“We are all very proud of him for even going over the first time and then volunteering to go over,” Morland said. “It takes a special person to even join the Guard in the first place. To go there and fight as a volunteer, it takes a special person.”
Patch is survived by his father John Patch, mother Colleen Stevens, step-mother Amy Patch and step-father Rick Stevens.