‘Blue Spader’ killed in Baghdad
May 17, 2007
A Schweinfurt, Germany- based infantry battalion has lost one of its own, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
Pfc. Nicholas S. Hartge, of Rome City, Ind., died Monday in Baghdad, of wounds resulting from a grenade and roadside bomb attack on him and others in his unit.
A member of 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment “Blue Spaders,” Hartge was the 15th Spader killed since the unit deployed to Iraq in August.
The 2nd “Dagger” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, which 1-26 falls under, has now lost 35 soldiers.
In Iraq for roughly nine months, the brigade is scheduled to come home sometime in October, giving it about five more months downrange.
Hartge’s father, Dave Abbott, of Rome City, told The Associated Press that he and the rest of his family were notified Monday afternoon, saying Hartge was killed at 1:03 a.m. while he was either on a raid or conducting a patrol.
Only 20, Hartge had graduated from East Noble High School two years ago.
He had taken midtour leave in March.
“He believed in what he was doing,” Abbott told AP. “He felt they were really helping the people.”
Abbott also said that the events on Sept. 11, 2001, were what drove his son to become a soldier.
“It’s all about 9-11,” Abbott said. “It was the driving force behind his decision.
“He always wanted to do something special,” Hartge’s father said. “He was adamant about being in the Army. There was nothing going to stop him.”
A memorial service for Hartge has not yet been scheduled, said a spokesman from the Schweinfurt Public Affairs Office.