Army Pfc. Patrick J. Hernandez was killed in a military vehicle crash at Fort Bragg, N.C., on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021.

Army Pfc. Patrick J. Hernandez was killed in a military vehicle crash at Fort Bragg, N.C., on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. (U.S. Army)

The military police officer killed in a vehicle wreck Monday at Fort Bragg, N.C., was a recent enlistee from Texas with two children and two stepchildren, Army officials said Wednesday.

Pfc. Patrick J. Hernandez was killed in the crash midday Monday on the installation, Fort Bragg officials said in a statement. Hernandez, 30, was assigned to the 108th Military Police Company, 503rd MP Battalion, 16th MP Brigade at Fort Bragg.

Lt. Col. Andrew Till, Hernandez’s battalion commander, said the incident, which also injured four other soldiers, had been difficult for the unit.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Pfc. Hernandez’s family as they grieve the loss of their loved one,” Till said in a statement. “The 503rd MP Battalion is grieving as well, and we will honor Pfc. Hernandez’s life and service.”

Army officials have provided few details about the incident, including the kind of military vehicle in which Hernandez and the other soldiers were traveling or whether the crash occurred during a training event. Army investigators from the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Training Center traveled this week from Fort Rucker, Ala., to lead the examination into the incident, the Army said.

Hernandez enlisted in the Army in August 2020 as a military policeman and had recently graduated from airborne school at Fort Benning, Ga., according to the Army. He was a native of Harlingen, Texas, and he was married with two daughters and two stepchildren.

Fort Bragg plans to hold a memorial for Hernandez in the coming weeks, said Capt. Perianne Duffy, a spokeswoman for the installation.

A soldier who served with him said he made a big impact in a short time in the Army.

“He was always willing to provide advice on fatherhood when he discovered I was soon to become a father.” Pfc. Michael D. Sanders said. “He was always available to mentor me and give guidance from his past experiences. I am heartbroken I had such a short time to know such a great individual and a great father.”

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Corey Dickstein covers the military in the U.S. southeast. He joined the Stars and Stripes staff in 2015 and covered the Pentagon for more than five years. He previously covered the military for the Savannah Morning News in Georgia. Dickstein holds a journalism degree from Georgia College & State University and has been recognized with several national and regional awards for his reporting and photography. He is based in Atlanta.

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