Pfc. Jerrick M. Petty Memorial Book
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Idaho Soldier Killed in Iraq Three Days Before Saddam's Capture
By Christina Salinas, KBCI-TV News, Boise ID
Just three days before Saddam's capture, an Idaho solider is killed in an attack over in Iraq.
25-year old, Pfc. Jerrick M. Petty of Idaho Falls died last Wednesday in Mosul, just north of Baghdad. Petty
from the 101st Airborne Division was killed in a drive-by shooting, while guarding a gas station.He was killed by enemy forces.
Petty's wife, Tiffany released this statement saying: "This is obviously a difficult time for our entire family.
We are grieving and coping as well as can be expected. I'd like to thank our community for the many expressions of support
our family has received," said Tiffany Petty.
A fund in memory of Pfc. Petty has been established at Bank of America. Contributions can be made at the Idaho Falls or
Idaho Falls Soldier Killed in Iraq
Mid-east less then a week, petty leaves toddler, infant.
By: Peter Zuckerman
Jerrick M Petty
liked to defend those who couldn't protect themselves. When he was 10, he beat up some neighborhood bullies who were picking
on other kids. In high school, he screened his little sisters' suitors to make sure they were dating safe boys.
In Idaho Falls, Idaho, he and his wife lived on the west side of town, where
they were raising their infant son and toddler daughter. He'd lost a construction job and wasn't making ends meet on fast-food
wages. With a GED and experience in construction and maintenance, he enlisted in the U.S Army about six months ago to support
his wife and two children.
The freshly minted private first class in the 101st Airborne Division shipped out the day after thanksgiving and
arrived in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Monday, his parents said in an interview Friday night. His last e-mail home,
sent from Mosul on Monday, he told his mother he was fine and not to worry about him. Early Wednesday morning, an Army lieutenant
colonel drove to his parents' home in Meridian to tell them their 25-year old son had been shot while defending a gas
station in the eastern part of Mosul.
The Associated Press reported another soldier was wounded in the same skirmish and that Petty was the 450th U.S.
soldier killed in the war on Iraq. He is the first Idaho Falls soldier killed in the war and the second Idahoan. His mother
said the Army has told her that he will be posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
He had been married about 3 and a half years to Tiffany, an eastern Idaho native. Their Children are daughter Azure
Dawn, 2, and son Jerrick Mcken II, who turns one on Dec. 26. "The last thing he said to me was, `I love you, Dad,' said
his father, Jerald Petty. "And the last thing I said to him was, `I love you, Son."
Jerrick Petty and his wife moved to Idaho Falls a few years ago. He worked construction and at McDonalds to support his
family, which grew in 2002 with the birth of his son at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. But his father said he couldn't
make enough to support his family here so he joined the Army. He finished basic training in Georgia and was later stationed
at Fort Campbell, Ky. "He went over there to fight for people and he did it to provide a better life for his family," Jerald
Jerrick, whose first name is a combination of his father's name and those of three uncles', was born in Las Vegas and
grew up in Hawthorne, Nev., a watering hole on the Las Vegas-Reno highway. He was the middle child of five and the only boy.
His parents described him as a man so bright that he aced tests even though he spent most of his time drawing pictures. He
didn't finish high school and got his GED instead.
When he was about 12, his father cut his hair with a razor, carving out fancy designs. The haircut became Jerrick
Petty's trademark and several others copied him. His little sisters, Gabra,17, and April, 23, learned he was chasing off boys
he didn't like. "If they didn't make the cut, he'd tell them: `Hey sucker, mess with my sister and I'm going to kick your
ass," the elder Petty said. His sisters had a hard time getting dates as a result, Jared Petty said.
Petty's parents asked that reporters not name their daughter-in-law's hometown to allow her peace while dealing with
the loss. Jerald Petty described his son as a friend with whom he fished for trout in the rivers around Idaho Falls and St.
Anthony. He said the military's care and concern have astonished him. "They called me from Iraq off satellite phones. These
guys felt the loss almost as strong as I do. If the government of this country took care of the people of this country like
the military take care of their own, there wouldn't be any problems. I haven't been that impressed in years."
"My son fought for you, so you can live under the blanket of freedom…he did it to provide a better life for his
family," Jerald Petty said.