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Andrew Shields

Andrew Shields

Died: May 31, 2008

Rank: Private First Class

Unit: 173rd Special Troops Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team

Branch: U.S. Army

Private First Class Andrew Jon Shields died on May 31, 2008, on a hot, dusty road near Jalalabad City, Afghanistan. An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near the 19-year-old’s vehicle and he perished from wounds caused by the explosion. A second Soldier, Specialist Matthew Finley, lost his life in the same incident. Shields served with the 173rd Special Troops Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, garrisoned in Bamberg, Germany. He is buried in the Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Vancouver, Washington. Hundreds attended the solemn funeral at New Heights Church in Vancouver, while a multitude of others lined the streets in silent tribute as Andrew’s procession made its way to his final resting place. Two fire trucks were present; they extended and crossed their ladders. From the scaffolding, the firefighters suspended a full size American flag that drifted in hushed, respectful witness to An­drew’s passing. Brigadier General Mike Trombetta presented a eulogy at the funeral. Likewise, Mike Gregoire, the husband of Washington’s governor, addressed the crowd of mourners.

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