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Army Sgt. Terry J. Lynch

Died June 29, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

22, of Shepherd, Mont.; assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.; died June 29 in Wardak Province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

Hundreds attend fallen hero’s funeral

The Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. — Friends and family who gathered at a funeral Mass on July 9 remembered a Shepherd soldier killed in Afghanistan as a man who had a fun-loving spirit and who was serious about serving his country.

Sgt. Terry Lynch, 22, was killed June 29 when an improvised explosive device blew up near the vehicle he was in. The explosion happened in Afghanistan’s Wardak Province.

Hundreds of people gathered at St. Bernard Catholic Church to honor Lynch with songs, prayer and stories. A funeral procession for burial in Shepherd followed.

“Nobody got to say goodbye to Terry, taken so suddenly, so violently, and your last words to him will be precious now,” said the Rev. David Reichling in his homily.

Mark Johnson described his friend as an all-American boy who loved cars, grease, dirt, firecrackers, paint ball and mischief. But he also recalled Lynch’s determination and dedication to his country.

“We as a family, we as a community and we as a nation are forever grateful,” Johnson said.

For his service, Lynch was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for outstanding duty in combat.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger attended the Mass, as did Maj. Gen. Michael Oates of Fort Drum, N.Y., where Lynch was based with the light infantry 10th Mountain Division.

Sgt. possessed ‘bone-crushing’ handshake

The Associated Press

Terry Lynch, determined and serious about serving his country, had a handshake so firm one friend called it “bone-crushing.”

Mark Johnson also said Lynch was fun-loving and modest.

“I was struck by how modest Terry was, as he told about his promotion to sergeant, his new responsibilities and duties and how he looked forward to being these young men’s boss,” Johnson said.

Lynch, 22, was killed June 29 by a bomb that detonated near his vehicle in Wardak province, Afghanistan. He was based in Form Drum, N.Y.

A funeral procession through Shepherd, Mont., the small town Lynch called home, passed farmland and a high school before reaching the town’s graveyard, where he was buried in a grave next to his mother, Robyn, and older brother, David.

Lynch graduated from Shepherd High School in 2005 and joined the Army at age 18.

“I wanted to give back to my country,” he said told the Billings Gazette newspaper before leaving for basic training.

He is survived by his father, Charlie, and his sister, Kristin, and her husband, Frank.

“We as a family, we as a community, and we as a nation are forever grateful,” Johnson said.

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