David A. Heringes
Sergeant First Class, United States Army
RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 1045-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2007
Media Contact: (703) 697-5131/697-5132
DoD Identifies Army Casuatly
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sergeant First Class David A. Heringes, 36, of Tampa, Florida, died August 24,2007, near Tikrit, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit during combat operations in Bayji, Iraq.He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
For more information related to this release,
the media may contact the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office
at (910) 432-0661.
Sgt. 1st Class David A. Heringes was supposed to be in Florida this month, navigating the sprawling world of Disney with his wife, his children and his parents.
But when the Army extended his 12-month tour of Iraq to 15 months, he had no choice but to stay with his platoon. And his family had no choice but to postpone their vacation.
On Friday, they learned that vacation will not be.
Heringes, 36, an 82nd Airborne Division Paratrooper from Tampa, Florida, died from injuries he sustained when a landmine detonated near his vehicle in Bajyi, Iraq.
This was the fourth overseas tour of his 16-year military career; his first to Iraq.
His father, Ronald Heringes of Spring Hill, Florida, last spoke to David a week ago. His son was, as he always was, ready to come home but glad to be doing the business of his country.
“He was very proud of being in the 82nd Airborne and we were just as proud of him,” Ronald said.
David, a NASCAR fan and motorcycle enthusiast who twice rode his Harley-Davidson from Fayetteville to Tampa and back, joined the Army when he was 20, wanting nothing more than to be a paratrooper with the storied 82nd.
In 16 years, he worked his way from a lowly private at boot camp to respected platoon sergeant with the Forward Support Company, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
It was during his second tour of Korea in 2004 that the Army warned him Iraq was on the horizon.
He was given three choices, his father said:
1. Go back to the States and prepare for deployment.
“If I have to go, I’m going to go,” he told his family.
“Nothing scared him,” his father said.
Even while he was away, dealing with the stress of war, he found time to call and instant message his parents, reassuring them that all was fine.
He ended each conversation, whether by phone or computer, the same way: I love you.
In addition to his father, David is survived
by his mother, Joyce; his wife, Shannon and his two children, Logan and
Cheyenne, of Raeford
Sergeant First Class David Heringes was supposed to return home from Iraq last month, but his tour was extended until November. He was killed August 24, 2007, near Tikrit, Iraq.
Heringes, 36, of Tampa died from wounds sustained when a makeshift bomb detonated near his unit during combat operations in Bayji, northwest of Baghdad, the Department of Defense reported.
He was buried yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery in front of more than 75 mourners, the 363rd military person killed in Iraq to be buried there.
"He loved the military and loved what he did," his father, Ronald Heringes, told the St. Petersburg Times.
Lining Heringes's grave site were wreaths and other floral arrangements, three of which had banners reading "Son," "Brother" and "Daddy."
As Heringes's flag-draped coffin was carried to the grave site, trailed by family and friends, his 5-year-old son, Logan, jogged to try to keep up with his mother, Shannan, at the front of the group.
At one point during the service, Logan took a few tentative steps toward his father's coffin before being gently pulled onto his mother's lap. He wore a set of dog tags around his neck.
The mourners stood as seven riflemen fired three shots apiece in steady succession and a bugler played taps.
Afterward, folded flags were handed to Heringes's wife and to his parents, Ronald and Joyce Heringes.
Heringes was to return home last month, so his parents had planned a trip to Disney World and Orlando for him, his son and his stepdaughter, Cheyenne Ward, 9.
But when his tour was extended, his parents went without him, only to receive a phone call during the trip that their son had been injured.
Heringes moved from Ohio to Tampa in the 10th grade and graduated from Leto High School in 1989. He joined the military two years later.
"He was just a big kid who loved soldiering and died for his country," his great-uncle, Don Kolesar, told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
He also loved cars and motorcycles.
Heringes served nearly 16 years in the military. He received numerous awards for his service, including the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart and an Army Commendation Medal with two oak-leaf clusters.
Heringes was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Photo Courtesy of Holly, May 2008
Photo By Michael Robert Patterson, May 2008
Photo Courtesy of Holly, September 2007