Joseph John Andres, Jr. – Master Sergeant, United States Army

NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 1325-05 IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Master Sergeant Joseph J. Andres, Jr., 34, of Seven Hills, Ohio, died in Balad, Iraq, on December 24, 2005, of injuries sustained earlier that day in Baqubah, Iraq, when he was attacked by enemy forces during combat operations.  Andres was assigned to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Bragg soldier killed in Iraq

A Special Forces soldier stationed at Fort Bragg died in Iraq on Christmas Eve when his unit was attacked.

Master Sergeant Joseph J. Andres Jr., 34, was wounded in a firefight in Baqubah, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command said. He died in Balad.

Andres, of Garfield Heights, Ohio, grew up in the Cleveland suburbs. He enlisted in the Army Reserve after high school then volunteered to be a combat medic in the 42nd Medical Company.

In 2003, Andres was assigned to the Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg. After his death, Andres was promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant.

He is survived by his parents, Joseph and Sandra Andres, of Seven Hills, Ohio.


Soldier's death cuts holidays short

There was supposed to be a surprise New Year's Eve celebration at Cleveland's trendy Warehouse District and a trip to the season's last Cleveland Browns home game for Master Sergeant Joseph J. Andres Jr.

The holiday homecoming plans were cut short when word came that Andres, 34, was killed in Baqubah, Iraq, on Christmas Eve.

He was assigned to Army Special Operations Command in Fort Bragg as a communications officer.

“It's devastation,” Andres' sister Sharon Andres said.

Her brother, a 1989 graduate of Padua Franciscan High School, died Saturday in Baqubah when his unit came under small-arms fire, the Army said.

Andres' injuries came from “the attack detonated near his Humvee,” according to the Army. He was the only casualty, Army spokesman Major Jim Gregory said.

American flags stood along the Andres' front porch Monday, along with a manger scene, a snowman and a sign wishing visitors a Merry Christmas.

His father, Joseph Andres Sr., said his son was “adventurous” but responsible. He rode dirt bikes, skateboarded and snowboarded. But he also was on the honor roll, played drums in the symphony orchestra, wrestled and ran track.

Two years into studying materials engineering at the University of Cincinnati, Andres decided to join the military.

He started as a medic in the Army Reserve in 1992 and joined the Army a year later.

“He really believed in what he did,” sister Debbi Serraglio said.

School children lined a street as a hearse carrying the body of a soldier killed in Iraq was driven to his funeral Mass on Thursday.

School youngsters served as an unofficial honor guard for Master Sergeant Joseph J. Andres Jr., 34, of nearby Seven Hills, as the casket was driven to St. Columkille Roman Catholic Church in this Cleveland suburb. Since 2003, he had been assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the Army Special Operations Command in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as a communications officer.

His body will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, following his wishes.

Andres was killed in Baqouba, Iraq, on Christmas Eve, when his unit came under small-arms fire.

Two years into studying materials engineering at the University of Cincinnati, Andres joined the military and started as a medic.

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