SAUK VILLAGE, IL, USA U.S. Army PFC, COMPANY B, 2D BATTALION, 502D INFANTRY, 2 BCT, FORT CAMPBELL, KY
PB CROPPER, IRAQ 04/06/2008
Kentucky’s governor has directed that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of a Fort Campbell soldier who died in Iraq.
The Department of Defense says 19-year-old Shane D. Penley from Sauk Village, Ill., died Sunday at a patrol base from wounds suffered while on duty at a guard post. The military says the incident is under investigation.
Penley was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, a sprawling Army post on the Kentucky-Tennessee line. He entered the Army in June 2007 and arrived at Fort Campbell in October.
Once during a high school wrestling match, Shane D. Penley was elbowed by an opponent. Penley didn’t want the referee to stop the match.
“He wanted to keep going,” said friend Jesse Patino. “Shane was bleeding. He was determined to win. He still wrestled, cleaned himself off and then won the match. He showed pride in stuff.”
Whether it was the daily battles on the basketball court — in the rain, snow and sun — or on the football field, Patino said his friend played his heart out and was determined to do everything.
Jessica Otwell remembered meeting Penley about 10 years ago after she moved down the street. “Shane always had a smile on his face,” she said. “That smile — no matter what the situation was.”
He is survived by his parents, David and Dena Penley.
“He always wanted to be a hero,” David Penley said. “He’s our little hero. I’m sure whatever the situation was, he stuck his neck out there. He was very brave, very brave.”