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Honoring those who fought and died in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn
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Army Capt. Andrew R. Pearson

Died April 30, 2008 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


32, of Billings, Mont.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died April 30 in Baghdad of wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Spc. Ronald J. Tucker.

Billings soldier killed in Iraq

By Matthew Brown

The Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. — A 32-year-old Army captain from Billings has been killed after his vehicle was hit by an explosion in Iraq, officials said.

The Department of Defense said Capt. Andrew R. Pearson, with the 4th Infantry Division from Fort Hood, Texas, was one of two soldiers killed in Wednesday’s blast from an improvised explosive device in Baghdad.

He is the 27th military service member from Montana to die so far in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the office of Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

Also killed in the Baghdad explosion was 21-year-old Spc. Ronald J. Tucker of Fountain, Colo. Their mission had been to train Iraqi forces.

Pearson joined the military in June 1998 and had been with the 4th Infantry since February 2007. His service awards included a Bronze Star.

Married and with four children, he had been deployed in March for a third tour of duty, after serving previously in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

“He believed in what he was doing and gave his all for America,” his father, Ron Pearson, said in an interview Friday. “He was very resolute in what he was doing.”

Ron Pearson said his son loved to hunt, fish and ride his bike, but that his top priority was his family. He and his wife, Jon Marie, had planned to buy a travel trailer and tour the country when Pearson got back from his latest 15-month tour, Ron Pearson said.

“They wanted to travel around and enjoy family life,” he said.

A 2001 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, where he majored in economics, Andrew Pearson was inspired to enter the military by his great-uncle, who also attended West Point, his father said.

For the 2001 academy yearbook, Pearson chose a quote from President John F. Kennedy to accompany his photo: “In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility — I welcome it.”

Memorial services are planned at the War Memorial in Billings on May 10 and at Fort Hood on May 15.

Pearson will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


Flags ordered flown at half-staff for fallen soldier

The Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. — Gov. Brian Schweitzer is ordering flags flown at half-staff on May 9 and 10 in honor of an Army captain from Billings who was killed in Iraq.

Capt. Andrew R. Pearson, with the 4th Infantry Division from Fort Hood, Texas, was killed on April 30 after his vehicle was hit by an explosion in Baghdad.

Also killed in the blast was 21-year-old Spc. Ronald J. Tucker of Fountain, Colo. Their mission had been to train Iraqi forces.

The 32-year-old Pearson joined the military in June 1998 and had been with the 4th Infantry since February 2007.

Memorial services are planned at the War Memorial in Billings on Saturday and at Fort Hood on May 15. Pearson will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


Army Capt. Andrew. R. Pearson remembered

The Associated Press

In West Point’s 2001 yearbook, Andrew. R. Pearson chose a quote from President John F. Kennedy to accompany his photo: “In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility — I welcome it.”

Pearson, 32, of Billings, Mont., was killed April 30 in Baghdad when his vehicle struck an explosive. He was assigned to Fort Hood.

Pearson began his third 15-month tour abroad in March, having served an earlier tour in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. “Capt.

Pearson was special,” Maj. Gen. Randy Mosley said. “He made an extraordinary sacrifice.”

During the first tour, to Afghanistan, he worked in supply. It was essential work, but Pearson felt he wasn’t doing enough, said his father, Ron.

The second tour, when Pearson served in Iraq, he felt more useful but still believed he was behind a desk too much. This tour, Pearson would lead his men into battle.

“On his last tour, his wish was granted,” Pearson said.

He is survived by his wife, Jon Marie, and four children, Danny, Gaby, Cheyenne and Kristopher.

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