29, of Wexford, Pa.; assigned to the 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Aug. 29 in Balad, Iraq, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit during combat operations in Muqdadiyah, Iraq.
FORT BRAGG, N.C. An Army captain with the 82nd Airborne Division based here died in Iraq this week after an insurgent attack, the Defense Department announced Aug 30.
Capt. Erick M. Foster, 29, of Franklin Park, Pa., died Aug. 29 in Balad of injuries sustained when his unit was attacked by insurgent small-arms fire in Muqdadiya, military officials said.
Foster was the commander of A Troop, 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
He graduated from North Allegheny High School in 1996 and Duquesne University in 2000, after which he joined the Army.
He received his commission in armor in May 2000 and was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas, for a time before reporting to the 82nd Airborne Division in April 2004. Foster became his troop’s commander in October 2006.
“Foster was a respected and proven combat leader whose love for his men supplied him daily with motivation,” Foster’s close friend, Capt. John Hartsock, said in a written statement.
Foster had previously deployed to Iraq from 2004 to 2005 with the 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, according to a news release from the 82nd Airborne Division.
Foster is survived by his parents, Robert and Barbara Foster, and sister Abby Foster, all of Franklin Park, Pa. Another sister, Elizabeth Werkheiser, lives in South Kirkwood, Mo.
Robert Foster told KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh that his only son was “the best of the best” and at “the tip of the sword in the pursuit of al-Qaida.”
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