NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 942-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
They died July 27, 2007, near Kamu, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when their unit came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire during combat operations.They were assigned to 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy.
Major Thomas G. Bostick Jr., 37, of Llano, Texas
Staff Sergeant William R. Fritsche, 23, of Martinsville, Indiana
1 August 2007:
Family member says fallen Army Major Thomas Bostick Junior was an experienced soldier who mentored his troops in the field and planned to continue a life of teaching back in Central Texas.
The military says the 37-year-old died Friday in Afghanistan. His unit was attacked after a meeting with village elders.
Brenda Richardson of Llano says her son loved leading his troops and sharing insights he'd gained from his superiors.
His career included two tours in Afghanistan, deployment to Iraq and the US mission to remove General Manuel Noriega in Panama in 1989.
His younger brother, Sergeant First Class Bobby Bostick who flew home from Iraq on Monday after hearing of his brother's death.
Thomas Bostick leaves behind a wife, Jennifer, and two teenage daughters.
He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
1 August 2007:
The Hill Country community of Llano is in mourning for Major Tommy G. Bostick Jr., a highly decorated Army Ranger killed Friday in Afghanistan.
“He was always a fine gentleman and a gentleman of character and certainly a hero,” said Llano County Judge Wayne Brascom, who ordered courthouse flags flown at half-staff this week to honor Bostick, 37.
A star on the basketball team at Llano High School, Bostick joined the Army Reserve as a senior and, upon graduating in 1988, went on active duty.
In 1992 he married Jennifer Dudley of Florida. They have two daughters: Jessica, 18, and Ashlie, 13. The family has lived in Germany for the past year.
Bostick's younger brother Bobby, 34, followed Tommy Bostick into the Rangers and to Iraq before coming home Sunday on emergency leave after learning of the death.
Their mother, Brenda Richardson, knew the news wasn't good when a detail from Fort Hood arrived at her home in Llano early Saturday.
“I just sat there and waited for them to let me know which one it was going to be,” she said.
Richardson said nine other soldiers were wounded when insurgents ambushed Tommy Bostick's patrol as it left a friendly village near Kamu.
“They had gone into an Afghanistan village, and my son had talked to the elders and everything seemed to be fine, and when they were coming out, they were ambushed,” she said.
John Faulkenberry of Midland, where Bostick's dad lives, was among the wounded in the group from 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Command, based in Schweinfurt, Germany, Richardson said.
Tom Bostick Sr. could not be reached for comment.
Tommy Bostick Jr. was promoted posthumously from the rank of Captain and will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
Richardson said her son loved leading his troops and sharing insights he'd gained from his superiors and on previous combat deployments to Operation Desert Thunder, Operation Iraqi Freedom I, and Operations Enduring Freedom I and II.
His many commendations include a Bronze Star with oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf clusters, and he earned the Master Parachutist Badge.
Richardson remains committed to the mission that claimed her oldest son.
“I believe if someone says they support the soldiers, then they should support the president and his decisions because he is our soldier's commander,” she said.
In lieu of flowers, she asked for donations to a scholarship fund for Bostick's daughters at the First State Bank of Central Texas, Bostick Fund, 907 Ford St., Llano 78643.
1 August 2007:
Both of Brenda Richardson's sons had gone to war: Thomas G. Bostick Jr. was serving in Afghanistan; his younger brother, Bobby Bostick, was in Iraq. When she saw the uniformed men pull up to her Llano home as she prepared breakfast Saturday, she knew one of them was gone.
“I just wanted them to hurry up and get it out,” she said Tuesday.
Major Thomas Bostick 1969-2007
The 37-year-old Army major from Llano died Friday during his second tour in Afghanistan, when his unit came under fire after a meeting with village elders near Kamu in eastern Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense.
Staff Sergeant William R. Fritsche, 23, of Martinsville, Ind., also died in Friday's attack, the Defense Department said.
Brenda Richardson said her son had talked about retiring from the Army in a year, after his tour was over.
“He wanted to be a teacher,” she said. “He wanted to come back to Llano and help younger children succeed.”
Thomas Bostick was born in San Diego and moved to Llano after his father, Thomas G. Bostick Sr., ended his career in the Marines. Bostick joined the Army Reserve while at Llano High School, and after graduating in 1988, he made the Army his career.
Bostick served in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989: the U.S. mission to remove Gen. Manuel Noriega from power after his indictment in the United States on drug trafficking charges.
In Afghanistan, Bostick was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.
Sergeant First Class Bobby Bostick, 34, flew home from Iraq on Monday after hearing of his brother's death. He said he called his older brother Big Bubba and looked to him for guidance and strength after he joined the military.
“He took care of his soldiers,” Bobby said. “He was definitely a good mentor and was one of the top captains in the Army.”
Richardson, 56, said her son believed in the mission in Afghanistan and enjoyed teaching members of his three platoons.
“He felt that he could make a difference in Afghanistan,” she said.
Bostick's stepfather, Jim Richardson, 65, said the family is handling Bostick's death by remembering his life.
“He was such a good son,” he said. “He's one of the good ones that died too young.”
Bostick is also survived by his wife of 14 years, Jennifer Bostick, and their daughters, Jessica, 18, and Ashlie, 13.
He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Services are pending.
In lieu of flowers, a scholarship fund has been set up for his daughters at the First State Bank of Central Texas in Llano.
BOSTICK, THOMAS GORDON JR
MAJ US ARMY
- DATE OF BIRTH: 12/08/1969
- DATE OF DEATH: 07/27/2007
- BURIED AT: SECTION 60 SITE 8755
- ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
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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