- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Cpl. Rachael L. Hugo
Died October 5, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
24, of Madison, Wis.; assigned to the 303rd Military Police Company, 97th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, U.S. Army Reserve, Jackson, Mich.; died Oct. 5 in Bayji, Iraq, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked her unit using an improvised explosive device and small-arms fire.
Madison soldier killed in Iraq described as volunteer
The Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. — The Madison soldier killed last week in Iraq kept volunteering to go out with the troops when she could have stayed back on base, a great uncle says.
“That’s the kind of person she was,” Robert Hugo said of Army Reserve Spc. Rachael Hugo, 24, of Madison.
The Defense Department said Oct. 6 she died Oct. 5 when insurgents attacked her unit using an improvised explosive device and small-arms fire.
She was assigned to the 303rd Military Police Company based in Jackson, Mich.
The 88th Regional Readiness Command of the Reserves said her parents, Kermit and Ruth Hugo, would hold a news conference Oct. 8 in Madison that will also be attended by her brother, Scott.
Juanita Davis, 21, who described herself as a friend of the soldier, said Hugo had been working toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Viterbo University in La Crosse before she was deployed to Iraq a little more than a year ago.
“She would do anything for anybody,” Davis said. “Her heart was always in everything that she did.”
Davis described her friend’s job in Iraq as combat medic.
While “I knew she didn’t like being there ... she knew that she was there to serve her country,” Davis added.
She said Hugo would have returned to Viterbo after her deployment ended.
As a part-time certified home health aide for the La Crosse County Health department, Hugo would visit homebound patients to help with daily health needs, said Gwen Loveless, a former co-worker.
“She was excellent with everybody,” Loveless said. “She worked so hard. I wish I had her drive.”
Hugo also worked at Meriter Hospital in Madison as a nursing assistant in the hospital’s mobile unit, according to Sue Simo, one of her supervisors there.
Simo said Hugo would work at Meriter during breaks from school.
“She was a lovely young woman, mature beyond her age,” Simo said.
Parents: Medic killed in Iraq had saved a soldier’s life
By Ryan J. Foley
The Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. — A Madison woman killed in Iraq last week had won an award for saving another soldier’s life earlier in her tour, her parents said Oct. 8.
Spc. Rachael Hugo, 24, was killed Oct. 5 when her Army Reserve unit was attacked by insurgents with a roadside bomb and small-arms fire, military officials said. She was serving as a combat medic with a Michigan-based unit expected to return to the U.S. in about a month.
Sgt. Maj. Janet Jones, a spokeswoman for the Army Reserve, said she believed Hugo was treating another soldier when she was killed during the incident in Bayji, Iraq. She said details were sketchy and an investigation into her death was underway.
The former high school cheerleader was looking forward to coming home and had even gone on an online shopping spree for new clothes, said her mother, Ruth Hugo.
Her parents and her little brother remembered Hugo as a beautiful and intelligent woman who had a passion for caring for the wounded. In an e-mail to her parents from Iraq, she wrote: “Being a medic is what I live to do.”
Hugo was assigned to the 303rd Military Police Company, based in Jackson, Mich. The unit, which was deployed in September 2006, was responsible for providing security for convoy operations.
“She was always very adamant about volunteering and going out on missions with her guys,” said her father, Kermit Hugo. “She told us countless times that she needed to be out there with them. If somebody got hurt or something and they didn’t have a medic, she was beside herself.”
He said his daughter was credited with saving the life of a sergeant who was badly wounded by a roadside bomb about three months into her tour. She was in the back of the convoy when the bomb exploded and jumped into action even though gunfire was going off, he said.
“She told the guys, ‘Cover me.’ She ran up there and started treating him,” Kermit Hugo said. “She just stayed with him and kept treating him, talking to him. She talked a lot to him to keep him alert. She did her job.”
The man was taken away by a helicopter and is recovering from his injuries, thanks to her “quick thinking and her excellent training,” Kermit Hugo said.
During a news conference at an Army Reserve center, he pulled out of his pocket a commemorative coin his daughter received for her actions. She gave him the coin when she was in Madison on a two-week leave in May for her birthday.
“She told me that she carried it with her wherever she went. She wanted to be sure that it didn’t get lost so she could bring it home to me and give it to me,” he said. “I’m just truly honored that my daughter would do something like that. Thinking of her family over herself. That’s just how she was.”
He said the coin — featuring his favorite colors of Green Bay Packers’ green and gold — would be proudly displayed in the family’s Madison home.
Hugo was studying to be a nurse at Viterbo University in La Crosse when she was called to active duty. She had two years of school remaining. Family members said she signed up for the military because she wanted to serve the country.
Scott Hugo, 19, said his sister had a caring and serious side, but she also was one of the goofiest people he knew and was always pulling pranks on family members.
Kermit Hugo, a custodian for the city of Madison, paused at the news conference to directly address his only daughter.
“Rachael, I always told you that you needed to be an asset to society and not a detriment and to give back to your community,” he said. “And you didn’t disappoint me. You made the ultimate sacrifice for your country.”