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Army Pfc. Timothy R. Hanson

Died January 7, 2008 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

23, of Kenosha, Wis.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.; died Jan. 7 in Salman Pak, Iraq, of wounds sustained from enemy small-arms fire.

2 Wisconsin soldiers killed in Iraq over 3 days

The Associated Press

KENOSHA, Wis. — Another Wisconsin soldier has been killed in Iraq — the second in three days.

Army Pfc. Timothy R. Hanson, 23, of Kenosha, died Jan. 7 in Salman Pak from injuries suffered after he was shot by enemy small-arms fire, the Department of Defense said.

His mother, Susan Hanson, said Jan. 8 the family was told he was shot in a tower while on nighttime guard duty in southeast Baghdad. “That’s all we know so far.”

She said she learned the news while waiting for a telephone call from him after a phone conversation Jan. 5, urging her to make sure to get his income taxes done because he expected a big refund.

When the phone call didn’t come, she thought he was just delayed. “The next thing I know is I have two military gentlemen at the door,” she said.

Her son always seemed in “pretty good spirits” about his duty in Iraq, Susan Hanson said.

“He felt secure where he was and was getting bored. ... About the only negative I heard lately was, ‘I wish the military had two sets of clothes. I get sick of wearing the same thing, day in and day out,’” she said.

Hanson was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, out of Fort Benning, Ga. He was single.

Elsie Jackson, a spokeswoman at Fort Benning, said Hanson, who joined the Army in April 2006, was a member of an infantry crew that fired mortars.

He was among about 4,000 soldiers from Fort Benning shipped to Iraq last March for a 15-month deployment, Jackson said. It was his first duty in Iraq.

Hanson is the 83rd Wisconsin resident to die as a result of service in the Iraq war, which started in 2003.

On Monday, the Pentagon announced that Army Pfc. Jason F. Lemke, 30, of West Allis, died Jan. 5 in Iraq when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device.

Lemke, who was assigned to an infantry unit out of Fort Lewis, Wash., had intense training in the Arabic language before being deployed to Iraq last April, according to his father, Gregory Lemke of Milwaukee.

Lemke was a 1996 graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran High School.

Hanson graduated from Indian Trail Academy, one of five public high schools in the Kenosha Unified School District, in June 2003.

Richard Aiello, principal at the school, said Hanson completed the school’s communications program, not its military affairs program.

History teacher Che Kearby had Hanson in classes as a freshman and junior and remembers him as very quiet and very reserved and a lover of history.

“He always seemed to seek out adult companionship. In high school probably some of the people he was closest to was some of his teachers,” Kearby said. “Behaviorwise, great kid.”

“He was very cerebral, and often talked, especially when it came to history, above most of his classmates. He definitely had a passion for it.”

Hanson attended about two years of college, at Northern Michigan University and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, studying history, before deciding to join the Army, his mother said.

“I wasn’t thrilled. ... knowing where he was going,” she said.

Her son told her that in his first two months in Iraq, he hadn’t shot his gun.

“I said, ‘OK. I like the area you are in. Stay there.’ I guess just recently it was getting more active,” the mother said.

Hanson, who lost 35 pounds to meet the Army’s enlistment requirements, loved movies and took his collection of nearly 300 DVDs and a portable player with him to Iraq, the mother said.

“He was into history. He loved World War II. He was interested in the Civil War when he was younger and then switched to World War II,” she said. “He read anything and everything about it.”

He liked the military life and was already talking about re-enlisting, Mrs. Hanson said. “It kind of fit his personality. He was a kid who was in Boy Scouts. He always loved to camp out, the field trips.”

Body of Kenosha solider killed in Iraq returns home

The Associated Press

KENOSHA, Wis. — The body of a 23-year-old Kenosha native arrived home this weekend after he was killed while serving his first tour of duty in Iraq.

Army Pfc. Timothy Hanson returned Jan. 12 at the Kenosha Municipal Airport to a short ceremony of the Army Honor Guard with his mother Susan, father Robert and siblings Andrew and Jennifer.

Hanson was killed last week by enemy small-arms fire in Salmon Pak in southeast Baghdad, according to the Department of Defense. His family said he was shot in a tower while on nighttime guard duty.

He was part of a mortar infantry crew for the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, from Fort Benning, Ga.

At Piasecki-Althaus Funeral Home, family members saw Hanson for the first time since June 23, when he reported back to duty.

The last time his sister Jennifer Hanson-Clope said she talked to him was shortly before Christmas. He was in good spirits but said he missed a “real” Thanksgiving dinner and looked forward to April 15, she said. That’s when he was scheduled to take his next leave.

“I think that had he lived, he would’ve liked to do professional military,” Hanson-Clope said. “He always joked about becoming one of those old history guys talking on the History Channel.”

His love of history, especially his study of World War II, was matched only by his keen interest, almost obsession, for watching movies and TV programs, she said.

Hanson’s visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. Jan. 15 at Piasecki-Althaus Funeral Home in Kenosha. Funeral services will begin at 10 a.m. Jan. 16 at the funeral home and a private inurnment will be held at Sunset Ridge Memorial Park.

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