Pennsylvania family mourns Friedberg-based son killed in Iraq
BAUMHOLDER, Germany — Sgt. Timothy Hayslett was excited about going home next month to rural Lower Mifflin Township, Pa., back in America on leave for the first time in two years.
Hayslett e-mailed his mother, Mary, about how excited he was. “And at the end,” she said in a Tuesday telephone interview, “he wrote, ‘Am I getting a parade? Just kidding.’”
Monday, the 26-year-old soldier got his parade.
When Hayslett’s friends and family left the Assembly of God Church and headed toward the cemetery, it passed by Oak Flat Elementary School in Newville. All the students stood on the street waving flags as the funeral procession passed.
“When we came through town, people who didn’t even know Timmy stood along the street waving flags, or stood saluting,” Mary Hayslett said. “The whole town gave Timmy recognition.”
Locals donated “so much food. It was wonderful. It gave us time to reflect,” she said.
On Nov. 15, an insurgent threw a hand grenade into Hayslett’s Humvee while he was on patrol in Baghdad, killing him and wounding two other soldiers. The soldiers were with Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment of the 1st Armored Division’s Friedberg-based 1st Brigade.
Hayslett had been in the Army for six years and had just re-enlisted for two more, planning to make it his career, Mary Hayslett said. He’d been in Iraq since May, but was scheduled to go home on leave from Dec. 15 through Jan. 15 before going to a Stryker Brigade in Fairbanks, Alaska.
The family could have buried her son at Arlington National Cemetery, or at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., Mary Hayslett said. But they decided to bury him near his home, where family can look after him, she said. Best of all, she added, her son is within view of the North Mountain from there. “He loved the mountains,” she said.
“I felt Timmy was ready to come home.”
He was a “country boy” who liked to go hunting with his father, Guy, his mother said. His father “is too upset to talk,” she said. “We have our ups and downs. But it’s the day after the ceremony, and he’s just trying to adjust.”
Hayslett is survived by his parents; his wife, Kori; and daughters Gracy, 3, and Kaitlyn Brough, 6.
Although it didn’t invite the media into the church for the funeral, the family has tried to accommodate all the reporters who’ve called.
“They should be allowed to tell about the soldiers. They should be allowed to do it,” Mary Hayslett said.
“Everyone in the U.S. should know my son’s name.”