Screaming Eagles Through Time
Spc. Jeremiah J. DiGiovanni

Army Spc. Jeremiah J. DiGiovanni, 21, of Tylertown, Miss.; assigned to 4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; killed Nov. 15 when two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters crashed in Mosul, Iraq.

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Spc. Jeremiah J. DiGiovanni Memorial Book

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Two Mississippi Soldiers Buried Saturday

Associated Press

Family and fellow servicemen remembered Army Spc. Jeremiah Joseph DiGiovanni as a kindhearted person and a dedicated soldier who had a fierce love of flying. Funeral services were held Saturday for DiGiovanni, who was killed Nov. 15 in a helicopter crash in Iraq. The 21-year-old soldier was assigned to A Company, 4th Battalion, 101th Airborne Division based at Fort Campbell, KY, where he served as Class One Helicopter Crew Chief on a Black Hawk helicopter. He had been in Iraq since February 2003.

``We're gonna miss him, but we'll never forget him,'' Joseph A. DiGiovanni, Jeremiah's father said after services. ``It's an honor for my son to have served in the service. I'm sorry he's gone, but he died doing what he loved to do.''

Services were held at Calvary Baptist Church in the Pricedale community of Pike County.

DiGiovanni was one of two Mississippi soldiers killed in the crash.

Funeral services for Army Pfc. Damian L. Heidelberg were held Saturday at Bethel United Methodist Church in Clarke County. About 250 people packed Calvary Baptist Church for a military service with full honors.

DiGiovanni's commanding officer, Capt. John Butora, described him as model soldier with a good work ethic and a generous heart.

``It's just a sad loss,'' Butora said. ``A young soldier is taken before his time. A super, generous person.''

DiGiovanni's grandfather, Edward DiGiovanni of Mandeville, La., said his grandson died ``a good death'' because he lost his life defending his country.

Chris Bordelon, a childhood friend and a Marines reservist, said he and Jeremiah came to terms with the possibility of dying in service before they enlisted.

``You have to know in your mind and in your heart when you sign the paper there's a possibility,'' Bordelon said. ``It could happen. You hope it doesn't and you pray it doesn't, and you feel bad when it happens to someone else, but you know there's always that possibility.''

Jeremiah DiGiovanni, a Covington, La., native, attended North Pike High School. He joined the Army on Nov. 8, 2000, and went through basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. He later received training for his job aboard the helicopter at Fort Houston, Va.

Survivors include his father and stepmother, Joseph A. and Helen DiGiovanni of Pricedale; his mother and stepfather, Laurie A. and Kendall Brock of Lakeland, Fla.; and six sisters.

Mississippi soldier among dead in helicopters’ collision

Associated Press

PRICEDALE, Miss. — A 21-year-old Pike County man was among the 17 soldiers killed in Iraq when two Black Hawk helicopters collided, family members said.

“The Army came to our house Sunday to tell us,” said Joe DiGiovanni of the Pricedale community, father of Spc. Jeremy DiGiovanni. “This is a real tough time for our family.”

Jeremy DiGiovanni was crew chief on one of the helicopters and was a member of the A Company, 4th Battalion, 101st Airborne Division based at Fort Campbell, Ky. He is the eighth Mississippian to die in Iraq.

DiGiovanni, owner of a country store in the town east of McComb, said family members met with Army officials from Fort Polk, La., to discuss funeral arrangements. He said the funeral would be held at Calvary Baptist Church in Pricedale but that the date of the services would depend on when his son’s body is returned home.

Military officials have not determined the cause of Saturday’s collision — the deadliest single incident involving American servicemen since the Iraq war began March 20.

Joe DiGiovanni said his son had joined the Army on Nov. 8, 2000, and went through basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. He later received training for his job aboard the helicopter.

“What he was doing was very important to him,” Joe DiGiovanni said. “It was 250 miles an hour, pants on fire with both doors open — he was a Black Hawk crew chief and he lived to get in that helicopter and fly.”

Joe DiGiovanni said that when he spoke to his son in Iraq, “I got the impression he was extremely busy, working very hard. And I think he tried to keep stories and rhetoric to a minimum so not to make us worry.”

Jeremy DiGiovanni’s parents divorced 17 years ago and he was raised by his father and his stepmother, who now lives in Florida. DiGiovanni said his son had a stepbrother and two stepsisters on his side of the family and two half brothers and three half sisters on his mother’s side.

“I will remember him as a great guy,” the father said. “He was always humorous and jovial. He never liked to see anybody with their feelings hurt or upset.”