David J. Hartman
Sergeant First Class, United States Army
Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 098-10
DOD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died February 3, 2010, in Timagara, Pakistan, from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.
Sergeant First Class David J. Hartman, 27, of Okinawa, Japan. He was assigned to the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne), 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Sergeant First Class Matthew S. Sluss-Tiller, 35, of Callettsburg, Kentucky He was assigned to the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne), 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Staff Sergeant Mark A. Stets, 39, of El Cajon, California. He was assigned to the 8th Psychological Operations Battalion (Airborne), 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
For more information media may contact the U.S. Army Special Operations Command public affairs office at 910-432-6005, or visit http://news.soc.mil.
Sergeant First Class David J. Hartman was born July 29, 1982, in Merced, California. He graduated from Kadena High School, Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, Japan in 2000 and promptly enlisted into the United States Army.
He died of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device the Lower Dir District of Pakistanís Northwest Frontier Province, February 3, 2010, while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Hartman was assigned as a civil affairs noncommissioned officer for Team 622 in Company B, 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne), 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Abn.), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
His previous assignments include platoon sergeant with Company C, Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry Division; and multiple positions with the 50th Signal Battalion, XVIII Airborne Corps to include electronic maintenance shop foreman, forced entry switch section team chief and sergeant, senior electronic maintenance technician, senior switch technician.
Hartman deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in November 2002 and to Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004.
His military schooling includes Civil Affairs Qualification Course, Basic Non-Commissioned Officers Course, Basic Airborne Course, Joint Network Node Operators Course, Unit Movement NCO Course, Equal Opportunity Leaders Course, Gryphon Groupís Mobile Force Protection Course, Explosive Hazard Awareness Trainerís Course along with others.
His awards included the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Expeditionary and Service medals, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Overseas Service Medal.
Hartman is survived by his wife, Cherise Sabio
of Rosamond, California, son Michael and another child on the way. He is
also survived by his parents, Greg and Mikail Hartman of Merced, California.
The son of a Lake County, California, pastor died February 3, 2010 in Pakistanís Northwest Frontier Province when an improvised explosive device killed three U.S. Army Special Operations soldiers.
The soldiers were among at least 60 to 100 members of a team that trains Pakistanís paramilitary Frontier Corps in counter-insurgency techniques, the New York Times has reported. They were on their way to attend the inauguration ceremony of a girls school that had recently been renovated with U.S. humanitarian assistance, according to the Army.
ďIt was really senseless,Ē said his father, Greg Hartman, a Kelseyville contractor and pastor of the Freedom Worship Center.
He said heís feeling both hurt by the loss and proud of his son. ďThis is what David wanted to do. He was helping people,Ē Hartman said.
Part of his sonís job was to make sure work on the school, which earlier had been destroyed by bombing, was completed.
Hartman said he was acutely aware during his sonís 10 years of service that he could be killed. ďIt was pretty scary,Ē he said.
His son would reassure him, saying: ďDonít worry dad, itíll be OK.Ē
David Hartman tried to convince his father that serving in Pakistan would be safer than his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. But Greg Hartman wasnít convinced. He said he tried to prepare himself for the possibility his son might be killed but also said thatís not really possible.
ďI know I have all the answers. But they donít answer the questions that I have,Ē he said.
David Hartman visited but never lived in Lake County, his father said. Two of Davidís three sisters and his paternal grandparents live in Lake County. His younger brother, following in his footsteps, completed boot camp the day before Hartmanís death.
David Hartmanís wife, Cherise Sabio, is from Rosamond, California, near Lancaster. They have a 1-year-old son, Michael, and she is pregnant with their second child.
David Hartman loved spending time with Michael and disliked being away from him, his father said. He was looking forward to coming home in April for an extended period of time, he said. But the Army was his career and it was likely he would again return to a war zone, Hartman said.
David Hartman was born in Merced and graduated from Kadena High School, located on an Air Force Base on Okinawa, where his step father was stationed and his mother, Mikail, lived. He was a member of the ROTC and enlisted in the Army after graduation, his father said.
He served in Afghanistan in 2002 and Iraq in 2004.
Hartman, who was based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, had earned multiple awards during his service to the Army. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, his father said.
Greg Hartman said heís struggling with the loss, but has found one positive thing to come from his sonís death: ďItís going to help me minister to people going through this,Ē he said.
HARTMAN, DAVID J
Posted: 14 February 2010 Updated: 10 April 2010 Updated: 2 May 2010 Updated: 7 June 2010
Photo Courtesy of Eileen Horan, June 2010
Photo Courtesy of Eileen Horan, April 2010