U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 081-11
January 31, 2011
DOD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Sergeant First Class Anthony Venetz Jr., 30, of Prince William, Virginia, died January 28, 2011, in Parwan province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained in a non-combat incident. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
For more information, the media may contact the U.S. Army Special Forces Command public affairs office at 910-432-6005.
1 February 2011:
Nearly a week after a decorated Army Special Forces soldier from Wading River died in a noncombat-related incident in Afghanistan, military officials are still investigating and have not released a cause of death.
Sergeant First Class Anthony Venetz Jr., 30, who earned two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts during three combat tours, died Friday at Bagram Air Field, the main U.S. airfield in Afghanistan some 25 miles north of Kabul.
His father, Anthony Venetz Sr., said not knowing how his son died has added to his grief.
“We don't know, and that's the hard part,” his father told the Fayetteville Observer on Monday. “Right now, I'm trying to deal with the fact that he's gone. That's the part I haven't even begun to believe yet.”
The elder Venetz said his son had previously been wounded twice in combat, suffering a gunshot wound to the leg in September, and later a concussion when a Humvee he was riding in was hit by a roadside bomb. Venetz served two tours in Iraq and his current deployment began in Afghanistan last year.
Venetz grew up on Wading River's Long Pond Road, and excelled in soccer at Shoreham-Wading River High School. He graduated in 1999, said Jon Cole, 30, of Wading River, who knew Venetz from childhood and who played with him on school soccer teams.
“He was a defensive stopper who would play the other team's best scorer,” Cole said. “He was quick, fast and physical, always played hard, always led by example.”
In 2001, Venetz enlisted in the Army in Prince William, Va., and served in Cuba and Iraq, according to an Army news release. In 2007, Venetz volunteered for the Special Forces.
After completing Special Forces training in March 2009, he was assigned to A Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group.
2 February 2011:
FORT BRAGG, North Carolina – A Special Forces Soldier died January 28, 2011 in a non-combat related incident in Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The cause of his death is still under investigation.
Sergeant First Class Class Anthony Venetz, Jr., 30, was a Special Forces engineer sergeant assigned to Co. A, 2nd Bn., 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).
Venetz, a native of Long Island, New York, enlisted in the Army in February, 2001, in Prince William, Va., as an infantryman, and attended Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Benning, Georgia.
His first assignment was with the 1st Bn., 22nd Inf. Regiment out of Fort Hood, Texas, where he was assigned to a scout platoon. During this time he deployed to Cuba and twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2007, Venetz volunteered to become a Special Forces Soldier. He graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course in March, 2009, and was assigned to A Co, 2nd Bn., 7th SFG (A).
His other military education includes the Warrior Leaders Course, Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, Combat Lifesaver Course, Basic Airborne Course, Army Sniper Course, and the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape Course.
His awards and decorations include two Bronze Star Medals, one with valor, two Purple Heart Awards, four Army Commendation Medals, with two for valor, Army Good Conduct Medal , National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Award, Special Forces Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.
He is survived by his wife and two children.
- SFC US ARMY
- DATE OF BIRTH: 10/28/1980
- DATE OF DEATH: 01/28/2011
- BURIED AT: SECTION 60 SITE 9509
- ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard