From the event

15 June 2008

PR# 2008-xxx

Fallen PRT Gardez members honoured at memorial service

KABUL, Afghanistan – Members of Provincial Reconstruction Team Gardez, along with 1/61 Calvary Soldiers and other members of various groups here, gathered at the Raven Landing Zone, June 9, to honour the life and sacrifices of two fallen Soldiers: Army Maj. Scott Alan Hagerty and Spc. Derek David Holland.

Army Maj. Scott Alan Hagerty, age 41, a PRT Civil Affairs team leader, was killed June 3, 2008 in the line of duty when the armoured vehicle he was riding in hit an Improvised Explosive Device. Hagerty was in the process of completing village and school assessments in the Zormat district.

Spc. Derek David Holland, age 20, a PRT Security Force driver and gunner, was killed while driving Hagerty’s vehicle.

During the ceremony, the Soldiers were remembered by the PRT commander and other team members as being a true professionals and friends.

“I, for one, will remember them as courageous professionals, bravely performing a difficult and challenging task,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Brett Sharp, PRT Gardez commander.

Hagerty was born in Muskogee, Okla. and grew up in Stillwater, Okla. He entered the Army as an active duty infantryman in 1983 upon graduation from Stillwater High School and later became an Air Defence Artillery crewman. After 10 years of active duty service, he transferred to the Army Reserves, received a degree from Oklahoma State University and earned his commission.

In 2004, he transferred to civil affairs and was on his third deployment after serving in Iraq and Uganda, Africa. He was deployed from the 451st Civil Affairs Battalion, based in Houston.

“Within just a few short days of his arrival he became an integral part of our team and one of my closest confidants,” said Army Maj. Jesus Rodriguez, a PRT Gardez team leader.  “His knowledge about civil affairs doctrine, as well as his tactical expertise and proficiency, made him an outstanding civil affairs operator. Yet, his warm, non-pretentious, easy-going, humorous personality made him someone who people could easily open up to.”

Holland is remembered by his teammates for his positive attitude and sense of humour. He was a key part in keeping motivation high in his platoon. Although his time in the military was very short, he was a contributing member of his team. He drove an up-armored vehicle in over 50 convoys across Paktya and also supported the team as a gunner. He was a vital part of the mobility of the unit.

Born in Bethlehem, Penn., Holland graduated from Pen Argyl High School in June 2006 and enlisted in the Army as a generator repairman the following April. He was assigned to Bravo Company 3rd Battalion, 103rd Armour Regiment of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Within his unit, he served as an Infantryman and was both a driver and gunner for the PRT’s security force.

“In the few short months I knew Specialist Holland, there have been so many good times and so many moments I will never forget,” said Army 1st Lt. Daniel Naylor, a PRT platoon leader. “While driving cautiously across a narrow bridge, he told me he was nervous not because he was scared, but because he didn’t want to roll the vehicle and hurt anyone else. This is the type of selfless person he was.”

Holland was at the beginning of a promising career, said Army Staff Sgt. Eric Mishanski, a squad leader.

“I took young Derek under my wing as I think we all did. We trained, developed, and led him into the man and solider he was becoming,” said Mishanski. “He was always the first person learning the language, engaging in conversation with the locals, or his favourite -- passing out candy to the children.”

After the comments from friends and colleagues, 1st Sgt. Reginald Parham, PRT Gardez’s first sergeant, called the formation to attention for a ceremonial roll call, emphasizing the loss of their teammates. 

For the sacrifices Hagerty and Holland made for their country, they were posthumously awarded Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts.

“Today, our fallen heroes look upon us to take up the torch and complete the work which they have started,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Jonathan Entrekin, 1-61 Calvary Squadron’s chaplain. “May our resolve be strengthened and may we follow their lead in ushering in ‘good’ to the people of Afghanistan.”

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
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