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Army Pfc. Henry C. Risner

Died August 18, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

26, of Golden, Colo.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.; killed Aug. 18 when his checkpoint came under attack by enemy small-arms fire in Baghdad.

Colorado soldier killed in Iraq

By Catherine Tsai

Associated Press

GOLDEN, Colo. — A soldier who was killed in Iraq had joined the Army nearly two years ago to earn money for college, and wanted to become a firefighter, his father said Thursday.

Pfc. Henry C. Risner, 26, died Wednesday near Baghdad when his checkpoint came under enemy small-arms fire, military officials said.

Another soldier told his family Risner was shot while he and other soldiers were passing out candy to children, Risner’s father, Gerald Risner, said.

“He’s one of these boys who, when anybody needed help, he was right there. He was just extremely protective of other people who were in trouble,” Risner said.

The soldier’s death was under investigation.

Henry Risner was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), based at Fort Drum, N.Y.

His wife is expecting a baby in January or February, Gerald Risner said.

Henry Risner decided to join the Army after taking several years to graduate from high school, his father said.

“I said, ‘Good idea,’ because I couldn’t put him through college,” said the elder Risner, a retired Marine.

Risner said his son would help him make and sell cinnamon-roasted almonds at various events.

“I’d tell people there were no calories, and he came up with an anecdote. He’d say we cooked everything in water, and then he’d say ’Did you realize calories can’t swim at this altitude?’ I use that all the time,” Gerald Risner said.

Henry Risner enjoyed hunting, fishing and sports and rooted for the Denver Broncos.

“He was a wonderful young man, very much in love with his wife and looking forward to his child being born,” Gerald Risner said. “He was an American. He would be a poster boy of any one of the armed services. Any of them would be proud to have him.”

Risner also is survived by his mother.

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