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Soldier with local ties dies in Iraq
Dec 18, 2006 12:00 am
A Lebanon family is mourning the loss of their son, killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq Thursday.
Staff Sgt. Henry W. Linck, 23, of Manhattan, Kan., was killed when an improvised explosive device detonated while they were on patrol in Baghdad. He was part of the 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment out of Fort Richardson, Alaska.
While Linck never resided in Lebanon, he will be remembered at a memorial service here where his father, mother and brother reside.
His funeral will be in Arlington National Cemetery at 10 a.m. Monday.
His father, Rick Linck, is a truck driver who once drove across the country with his son.
He recalled Henry's lust for life and adventurous spirit, remembering the time he visited a Texas restaurant known for serving more food than the average human can handle – a 72-ounce steak, "a potato as big as a football and a salad that looks like a chef's salad," Rick Linck said.
Henry ate every bite.
Henry's adventurous spirit was evident when he was a child. When he was eight and living in Marysville, Kan., his uncle found him swimming in the Big Blue River, which was swollen from severe flooding.
In 1999 when he was 17, he and a friend decided to join the U.S. Army.
"He believed in duty, honor and country," his father, who was a Navy SEAL, said.
The events of Sept. 11, 2001, changed Linck's life forever. The U.S. Army Ranger, who was also a jump master and worked in military intelligence, spent the Christmas of 2001 in a cave while on the hunt for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
He would perform another tour in Afghanistan before he made the decision to re-enlist earlier this year.
"He came home and saw that there were no jobs, no opportunities," his father said. "… He basically figured – and it sounds funny – the Army paid him to fight. And he enjoyed doing it."
His stepmother, Debbie – a bus driver for Wilson County Schools – said Henry felt like he was doing the right thing and believed in the cause in Iraq.
"He's my hero," Debbie Linck said. "He was over there protecting us. … Henry gave up the ultimate sacrifices because he felt it was what he needed to do for our country. He was a very special young man."
Staff Writer Jason Cox can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 45 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.