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Timothy J Lauer


We’ll all be holding each other up,” Valerie Lauer called out to friends Thursday outside the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory in Meadville. “That’s what we’ve been doing.”

Valerie is the widow of U.S. Army Corporal Timothy Lauer, 25, of Meadville, who was killed Oct. 14 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Baghdad, Iraq. Lauer was on a convoy resupply mission when he was killed, said Major Timothy Foor.

At a solemn news conference Thursday, Timothy’s younger brothers, Jon Lauer, 24, and Chris Lauer, 19, spoke reverently of their late brother, who was a 2000 graduate of Cochranton Junior-Senior High School.

Valerie Lauer, a mother of four, didn’t formally speak at the news conference. Dressed in black and wearing her husband’s military “dog tag” from basic training, Mrs. Lauer frequently fought back tears as she listened to her brothers-in-law.

The family has been devastated by the death, Jon said. “Words cannot convey what our family and friends are feeling,” he added. “Tim was an excellent brother, husband, father, son and soldier. He is our hero, the truest and finest definition of an American hero. He died protecting and serving our country in a mission he believed in.

“He was the strongest man we ever knew.”

Chris strained to hold back tears and his emotions as he talked about his older sibling.

“Tim was very patient, open-hearted, kind, caring, loving and thoughtful,” Chris said, his voice quavering. “He always put the needs of others before his own. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for any of his friends.”

Timothy Lauer was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division serving out of Fort Hood, Texas.

He was scheduled to return home in November, but knew he’d be going back about eight months later, Jon said. His brother had recently re-enlisted and had dreams of making the Army his career, he added.

Lauer joined up in March 2004 after having worked as a cook at Perkins Family Restaurant in Meadville.

“He said ‘They (the military) set you for life,’ ” Jon said. “He wanted everything to be all right for his family.”

Deborah Dye, Timothy’s mother, told the Tribune, “Tim was strong; he’d want us to be strong. That’s what keeps us going.” She had last seen Timothy in June when he was home on leave for her remarriage.

However, she last heard from him in September when she got an e-mail on her home computer right after her birthday. “To the best mom in the world” was in the subject line.

“I’ll keep that on there forever,” she said.


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