Fallen Soldier: Michael L. Hartwick Jr.

Michael L. Hartwick Jr.
Dates: Died April 1, 2006
Hometown: Orrick, Missouri
Branch of Service: Army
Rank: Chief Warrant Officer 3
Player: Lorel Hayward

Army Chief Warrant Officer Michael L. Hartwick, 25, of Orrick, Missouri, was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 4th Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, and served during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. On April 1, 2006, CW3 Hartwick and another soldier died when their Apache helicopter crashed while conducting a combat air patrol in Baghdad, Iraq.

CW3 Hartwick graduated from Orrick High School in 1986. He had an all-American boy resume in high school: he was a member of the National Honor Society and student council, serving as senior class president, as well as playing football and basketball. He joined the Army in 1992 and trained as an Apache helicopter pilot. He served in Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, and was twice deployed to Iraq. CW3 was awarded a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, the Air Force Achievement medal, the Army Good Conduct medal, the Air Force Good Conduct medal for his service and sacrifice.

“When I heard the news, I thought, ‘That’s one of America’s best and brightest,” said Sandra Pendleton, who taught CW3 Hartwick at Orrick High School. “If you had a son, he was what you would have wanted him to be.” "My husband, CW3 Michael Hartwick, died while fulfilling his life dream of flying the AH-64 Apache helicopter while serving his country. He was a true patriot," said his wife Kerri.

CW3 Hartwick’s son and daughter are Folds of Honor Scholarship recipients.