Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wisconsin soldiers were first on the scene to help after an explosion killed a Michigan soldier and injured others in Baghdad

When the Associated Press reported that a Michigan soldier was killed by indirect fire in the Baghdad area last week, I asked the PAO for the 32nd IBCT if any Wisconsin soldiers were affected by the blast.

Indirect fire is when an enemy propels an explosive device from an unseen location.

Lt. Col. Tim Donovan in Baghdad got back to me with this:

This indirect fire incident did involve impacts in the vicinity of one
of our units. Two soldiers from (the Eau Claire-based) Headquarters and Headquarters Company of 1-128th Infantry were first to respond to provide emergency first aid to the soldiers injured in the attack. Sgt. 1st ClassThomas Wise (front left) and
Sgt. Randy Burns (front right) received awards for their actions in response to the
indirect fire attack.

There have been relatively infrequent indirect fire attacks on a few
locations where 32nd Brigade soldiers are assigned. . I am not aware of any 32nd
Brigade soldiers who have been wounded by indirect fire.

Sgt. 1st Class Wise is from Hammond, Wis. (in St. Croix County) and Sgt.
Burns is from Pardeeville, Wis.

The soldiers were fairly close to the point of impact, so they most
definitely heard the explosion, then they responded to a call for

Here is the text of the Associated Press story on the indirect fire incident:

DOWAGIAC, Mich. - The Department of Defense says a soldier from
southwestern Michigan was killed last week in Iraq.

The Pentagon said Monday that Spc. Paul E. Andersen of Dowagiac died
Oct. 1 in Baghdad from wounds sustained when his camp was attacked with
indirect fire. Additional details were not released.

Andersen, 49, was assigned to the Army Reserve's 855th Quartermaster
Company, based in South Bend, Ind.

The South Bend Tribune reports Andersen is survived by his wife, Linda,
three children and three stepchildren