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Army Sgt. 1st Class John M. Hennen

Died June 17, 2007 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

26, of Vinton, La.; assigned to the Louisiana National Guard's 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, Lake Charles, La.; died June 17 in Panjway, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Also killed were Capt. Joshua E. Steele and Sgt. 1st Class Christopher D. Henderson.

Vinton woman says soldier son killed in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

VINTON, La. — A Vinton High School graduate is among the latest American war fatalities, according to his mother.

Sgt. 1st Class John Michael Hennen, 26, was killed June 17 in Afghanistan, said Susan Moreno of Vinton. She said she was notified that same day.

“I was visiting my daddy’s grave in Nederland [Texas] when I got a call that the Army was looking for me,” Moreno told The American-Press of Lake Charles. “They wouldn’t tell me anything until I got home.”

She said it was Hennen’s second tour of combat duty. His first was in Iraq. “He’s my hero — he’s our hero. He believed in his country ... in what he was doing,” Moreno said. “He wanted his son and nieces and nephews to be free. But freedom isn’t free.”

The Army has not yet released information on Hennen’s death but did report June 17 that a roadside bomb killed three members of the U.S.-led coalition and an Afghan interpreter in Kandahar province.

Fort Riley reports 4 soldier deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan

The Associated Press

FORT RILEY, Kan. — Three Fort Riley soldiers serving in Afghanistan and one serving in Iraq have died of wounds they suffered in weekend bombings, the Army said Tuesday.

Officials of the northeast Kansas post identified those killed in Afghanistan as Capt. Joshua E. Steele, 26, of North Henderson, Ill.; Sgt. 1st Class Christopher D. Henderson, 35, of Hillsboro, Ore.; and Sgt. 1st Class John M. Hennen, 26, of Vinton, La.

The three men were wounded Sunday in Panjway when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle. They were serving on a transition team assigned to Fort Riley-based 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.

In Iraq, Spc. David Anthony Wilkey Jr., 22, was wounded Sunday by a roadside bomb in Baghdad and died Monday. Relatives said Wilkey was born in Michigan, moved as a teenager to Elkhart, Ind., and had lived most recently with his wife and two children in Clay Center, Kan.

Wilkey was assigned to 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.

Fort Riley officials said that as of Tuesday, 112 soldiers from the post have been killed while serving in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Louisiana soldier killed in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

A little bit of Army Sgt. 1st Class John M. Hennen rubbed off on his son — at least the flirtatious part.

Hennen’s 4-year old son, John Michael Hennen II, nicknamed T-John, has already learned a few tricks from his daddy’s playbook.

“Everywhere he goes, he makes eyes at pretty women,” said Susan Moreno, his mother. “He even tries to whistle at them.”

Hennen, 26, of Vinton, La., was killed June 17 in Panjway, Afghanistan, after an explosive detonated near his vehicle. He was a 1999 high school graduate and was assigned to Lake Charles.

Hennen set his sights on the Army from the time he was a little boy. His mother reluctantly signed a waiver for him to join before he turned 18.

“I have a great husband, I have a great family, but John was the greatest man I ever knew,” said Katherine Bleichroth, a sister.

Hennen’s parents said they will fulfill one of their son’s goals in the future.

“He wanted to go to Australia with T-John when he returned to the States,” said his father, Paul Moreno. “We decided we’re going to take him there when he’s a little bit older, when he can understand that it’s something that his daddy wanted for him.”

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