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Army Sgt. Joseph M. Peters

Died October 6, 2013 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

24, of Springfield, Mo., assigned to the 5th Military Police Battalion, Vicenza, Italy.; died Oct. 6, in Zhari District, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Also killed in the incident were 1st Lt. Jennifer Moreno, Sgt. Patrick Hawkins and Pfc Cody Patterson.

Four soldiers dead in roadside bomb attack

By Joe Gould
Staff writer

Two Army Rangers, a nurse and an Army criminal investigator were killed by a roadside bomb blast in Zhari, Afghanistan, on Sunday, authorities said this morning.

One of the Rangers was killed while trying to aid a fallen comrade.

The criminal investigator killed was the first agent of Criminal Investigation Command to die in Iraq or Afghanistan, though agents often assist special operations forces, a CID spokesman said.

1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno, 25, of San Diego, Calif., a nurse assigned to Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. She was with an Army Special Operations Command cultural support team.

Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins, 25, of Carlisle, Pa., assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.

Sgt. Joseph M. Peters, 24, of Springfield, Mo., a special agent assigned to the 5th Military Police Battalion, Vicenza, Italy.

Pfc. Cody J. Patterson, 24, of Philomath, Ore., assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Fort Benning, Ga.

Col. Christopher S. Vanek, commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment, called Hawkins a “man of character and commitment” and said Patterson, “had a limitless future.”

Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins

Hawkins was moving to the aid of a fallen comrade when he was killed, Col. Patrick J. Ellis, commander of 3rd Battalion, said in a statement.

“Sgt. Patrick Hawkins was a brave and incredibly talented Ranger,” Ellis said. “His actions that night were in keeping with the epitome of the Ranger Creed: ‘I will never leave a fallen comrade.’ Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hawkins family during this difficult time.”

Hawkins had turned 25 five days before he was killed and was on his fourth deployment. He served as a rifleman, gun team leader and Ranger team leader with Company B.

His awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the U.S. Army Expert Rifle Marksmanship Qualification Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Purple Heart.

He is survived by his wife and parents.

His father, retired Army Lt. Col. Roy Hawkins, told the Patriot-News, that he and his wife never expected their son Patrick would join the Army.

But Hawkins followed in the footsteps of his father, who retired from the U.S. Army War College after 30 years in the service in 2008 — and his parents supported him in the decision.

“He sort of got motivated to join the service. It was sort of a surprise,” Roy told the Patriot-News. “Of course, we supported Patrick in his decision.”

Pfc. Cody J. Patterson

“Pfc. Cody Patterson was the poster child for the Ranger Regiment,” Ellis said of the rifleman, who was killed on his second deployment to Afghanistan.

“He was courageous and dedicated and lost his life while fighting tenaciously against our nation’s enemies alongside his fellow Rangers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Patterson family.”

Patterson’s awards and decorations include the Parachutist Badge and the Army Expert Rifle Marksmanship Qualification Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Purple Heart.

Patterson is survived by his parents, and a sister, all in Philomath, Ore.

A Facebook page was established to support the family. It notes that Peters was expected to leave Afghanistan in two weeks.

“Today Oct 6, a amazing momma was told her husband was killed in action, just two weeks before he was scheduled to come home,” the site says. “We ask that you join us in remembering her husband, a hero and help raise funds to help Ashley and her son Gabriel, just get by day-to-day, whether it be for food, bills, anything to help with any financial burden that may arise after such a tragic loss.”

1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno

Moreno, who was on her first deployment, commissioned into the Army as a nurse. She went on to complete the Army Airborne Course in 2009 and served in a medical surgical unit at Madigan before she volunteered to serve with a special operations Cultural Support Team and deployed in June.

Such teams are typically comprised of female soldiers who can engage Afghan women.

“We’ve lost a superb officer and a caring nurse who served with marked distinction and honor throughout her career,” Madigan Army Medical Center commander Col. Ramona Fiorey told KING-TV news.

“She was a talented member of our team who lost her life while serving her country in one of the most dangerous environments in the world,” Ellis said. “Her bravery and self-sacrifice were in keeping with the highest traditions of the 75th Ranger Regiment. She was making a difference in Afghanistan and that legacy will live on. The Moreno family is in our thoughts and prayers.”

Moreno was posthumously awarded the Combat Action Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Purple Heart, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and NATO Medal. She previously held the Parachutist Badge.

She is survived by her mother and two sisters in San Diego, and her brother, who is serving in the Army.

California Gov. Jerry Brown and his wife said Moreno “bravely gave her life in service to our state and nation,” and expressed “their deepest condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time.” Brown ordered that flags be flown at half- staff at the Capitol in Sacramento in her honor Tuesday.

Sgt. Joseph M. Peters

Peters was on this third deployment; the two previous deployments were to Iraq.

Peters completed courses in protective services, human intelligence collection, crime scene investigation and analyst-interrogator collaboration.

CID spokesman Chris Grey said agents’ specialized training and capabilities, such as evidence collection, “have proven to be invaluable to special operations forces.

“That’s why our agent was with this team,” Grey said.

“I have to tell you having worked with these men and women for many years now, CID special agents are very aware and accept the fact that they are in an inherently dangerous profession whether conducting a murder investigation in the U.S. or supporting combat operations overseas,” Grey said. “They are passionate about their profession and are truly dedicated heroes.”

Maj. Gen. David Quantock, the Army’s provost marshal general and commander of Army Criminal Investigation Command, called Peters, “a highly respected agent and soldier who sacrificed his life in the defense of this nation.”

“We are extremely proud of his service and what he accomplished as a CID Special Agent and as a soldier,” Quantock said. “His death is a reminder to all of us of the unequaled contributions our military members and their families make on a daily basis in the defense of the freedoms that we all enjoy and value so dearly.”

He was posthumously awarded the Combat Action Badge, Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart.

Peters is survived by his wife and 20-month-old son.

A web page was set up to raise money for Peters’ family as well.

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