Monday, July 23, 2012

R.I.P. - Pfc. Jeffrey L. Rice

DOD Identifies Army Casualty
            The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

            Pfc. Jeffrey L. Rice, 24, of Troy, Ohio, died July 19, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas.

            For more information, the media may contact the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office at 254-287-9993 or 254-287-0106.

By Katie Wedell
Staff Writer

Updated: 5:51 p.m. Sunday, July 22, 2012 | Posted: 11:47 a.m. Sunday, July 22, 2012

TROY, Ohio —

A 2007 Troy High School graduate was killed last week while serving in Afghanistan.

Army Private First Class Jeffrey L. Rice, 24, of Troy, died in Kandahar, Afghanistan Thursday, the Department of Defense announced Sunday.

Rice was part of the 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade stationed out of Fort Hood, Texas and was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom at the time of his death.

Rice also attended Piqua Joint Vocational School, now the Upper Valley Career Center, for his junior and senior year, according to Troy City Schools Superintendent Eric Herman.

Herman said Rice was in the welding program and played football while in high school.

“I remember him just being real quiet,” Herman said.

Alan Wuebker was Rice’s welding teacher for those two years and remembered him as an attentive, respectful and hardworking student.

“Jeff was an awesome student,” Wuebker said. “He always talked about serving his country. It was his lifetime goal to do that.”

Wuebker said Rice actually earned a scholarship to continue studying welding, but enlisted instead. He said Rice hoped to further his welding career while serving in the Army.

Fort Hood had not released any details on Rice’s death Sunday afternoon.

His family reportedly travelled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware Sunday where Rice’s remains were transferred along with the bodies of two fellow soldiers also killed in Afghanistan last week, Army Spc. Darrion T. Hicks of Raleigh, N.C. and Marine Cpl. Joshua R. Ashley of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

The 20th Engineer Battalion, nickname “Lumberjack”, provides combat engineering support, according to the Fort Hood webpage.

Information on funeral services is pending.
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