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Army Lt. Col. Richard J. Berrettini

Died January 11, 2008 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

52, of Wilcox, Pa.; assigned to the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Medical Detachment, Erie Clinic, Erie, Pa.; died Jan. 11 in San Antonio of wounds sustained Jan. 2 in Khowst province, Afghanistan, when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device.

Guardsman dies from injuries sustained in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A soldier has died in Texas from combat injuries he suffered in Afghanistan, the Pennsylvania Army National Guard announced Jan. 13.

Lt. Col. Richard J. Berrettini, 52, from Eldred, McKean County, died Jan. 11, nine days after the attack, which also killed an interpreter and South Carolina National Guard Sgt. Shawn F. Hill, 37, of Wellford, S.C.

Berrettini was scheduled to return home at the end of the month after a year in Afghanistan. A nurse practitioner, he had volunteered to serve in Afghanistan. In civilian life, Berrettini was a Port Allegany High School nurse.

He joined the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1984 and was a former active duty sailor.

“He was a very good man, very professional, somebody they trusted,” said retired teacher Ron Caskey, a former colleague of Berrettini’s. “He was a confidante.”

Tony Flint, Port Allegany superintendent of schools, said Berrettini had been an elementary school nurse for seven years before becoming a nurse at the high school, where he also worked for seven years.

Berrettini, who died at Brooke Army Medical Center, is survived by his wife, Jane; mother, Doris; brother, Nello; and sons Vincent, 26, and Christopher, 22.

Vincent Berrettini is an Air Force Academy graduate and an Air Force pilot. Christopher Berrettini is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

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