Herald JournalHerald Journal, Feb. 28, 2005

Soldier killed has local ties

One of three soldiers who died last week from an explosion in Iraq has local ties to Howard Lake.

The soldier – Staff Sgt. Dave Day, originally of Morris – was the nephew of Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School Principal Mike Day.

Day also worked alongside Brian Jensen at the St. Louis Park Police Department. Jensen, who is from Dassel, worked part-time as a police officer for the City of Howard Lake in the past.

Day, 25, was killed during a morning routine patrol through Baghdad last Monday, when one of the Humvees in the convoy was involved in an accident; injuring two other Minnesota National Guard soldiers.   

The convoy stopped to recover the crashed vehicle and assist the occupants.   

While assisting the wounded soldiers, an innovative explosive device detonated, killing Day, 1st Lt. Jason Timmerman, 24, of Tracy, and Sgt. Jesse Lhotka, 24, of Alexandria.

Two soldiers from C Company were also injured in the incident.  Their names have not been released.   

One soldier is in stable condition in a military hospital in Germany; the other was treated and then returned to duty.

“This is a tragedy that affects us all in Minnesota,” said Major General Larry W. Shellito, adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard.  “Through our grief, our efforts are squarely focused on doing everything possible to care for our families who have lost their loved ones.” 

 Last fall, Day was part of 152 other soldiers who left via bus from Morris to train in New Jersey. 

The three men were assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery; drawn from soldiers around the western Minnesota towns of Morris, Ortonville, Appleton, Madison, and Montevideo.  

After stateside training on current tactics, techniques, and procedures, the soldiers shipped out to Iraq in December.   

They are assigned to the 42nd military police brigade in Baghdad, Iraq.   

Typical missions for a military police unit include conducting area security, keeping law and order, and overseeing battlefield traffic circulation.

Day’s funeral will be in Morris.

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