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1st Lt. Andrew Stern

June 1, 2012

Prior to September 16, 2004, I did not know the name Andrew Stern. Andrew Stern was a 1st Luitenant in the Marine Corp. On September 16, 2004, 1Lt Stern was commanding a tank platoon that was in charge or security for the engineer company I was attached to. We were bulding a bypass road on the north side of Fallujah, Iraq. The insurgency had been trying to blow up the support beams on the bridges of the main highway, so we were tasked with creating a secondary route to get supplies to all sides of the city. I was part of a heavy construction platoon and was operating a road grader that day. At around 11:15am , Sgt. Nick Brewer and myself noticed a large canister on the side of the road. We were about to move it from our work area when Sgt. Brewer noticed something inside of it that appeard to be wired artillery rounds. We quickly got back from the device that was clearly an improvised explosive device (IED). Sgt. Brewer radioed the IED to the Marine tank unit that was providing security and I began alerting other equipment operators to get back and away from the area. 1lt. Stern had his tank driver move his tank to the location, placing it between the device and the equipment operators. By chance or luck, this action probably saved several lives as the equipment we were operating had no armor protection. Just as I dismounted a piece of equipment, all I remember seeing was a bright flash followed by the intense pressure of the blast wave. The IED had detonated. I was hit with shrapnel, but survived. 1lt. Stern took an almost direct hit from the blast as he was looking down from the top of the tank trying to affirm that it was an explosive device. I truly believe that had the tank not been placed where 1lt. Stern instructed it to be, there would have been a greater loss of lives that day. 1lt. Andrew K. Stern was 24 years old on the day he gave his life for his country.

NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense

No. 922-04

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sep 17, 2004

Media Contact: Marine Corps Public Affairs – (703) 614-4309 Public/Industry Contact: (703)428-0711

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

First Lieutenant Andrew K. Stern, 24, of Germantown, Tennessee, died September 16, 2004, from injuries received due to enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California.

Obituary:

1st Lt. Andrew Karl Stern formerly of Arlington Heights.

A remembrance service to celebrate the life of 1st Lt. Andrew Karl Stern, 24, of Joshua Tree, Calif., will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, at Temple Israel, 1376 E. Massey Road, Memphis. Lt. Stern was killed in action on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, near Fallujah, Iraq. His remains will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., at a time to be determined. Lt. Stern was the platoon commander of the Third Platoon, B Company, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. He was a 2001 graduate of the University of Tennessee, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and a co-captain of the Crew Club. He graduated high school from Culver Military Academy in Culver, Ind. Andy was the son of 1st Lt. Andrew Karl Stern formerly of Arlington Heights A remembrance service to celebrate the life of 1st Lt. Andrew Karl Stern, 24, of Joshua Tree, Calif., will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, at Temple Israel, 1376 E. Massey Road, Memphis. Lt. Stern was killed in action on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, near Fallujah, Iraq. His remains will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., at a time to be determined. Lt. Stern was the platoon commander of the Third Platoon, B Company, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. He was a 2001 graduate of the University of Tennessee, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and a co-captain of the Crew Club. He graduated high school from Culver Military Academy in Culver, Ind. Andy was the son of Eileen and Richard Stern of Germantown, Tenn., formerly of Arlington Heights; brother of Justin Stern of Amelia Island, Fla., and Zach and Kyle Stern of Germantown; and grandson of Hanni and Eric Thuna of Coconut Creek, Fla., and Otto and Ilse Stern of Florence, Ky. In lieu of flowers or memorials, the family requests contributions to The Culver Academies, Lt. Andrew K. Stern Scholarship Fund, 1300 Academy Road, Culver, IN 46511-1291. Friends may visit http://www.dailyherald.com/obits to express condolences and sign the guest book.

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