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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Services Set For Lt. Col. Richard Berrettini

HARRISBURG – A senior Pennsylvania Army National Guard officer has died at Brooke Army Medical Center, Texas, due to injuries received from an improvised explosive device attack in Khowst Province, Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. Richard J. Berrettini, 52, Eldred, McKean County, died Jan. 11, nine days after the HMMWV he was a passenger in was attacked. He was serving a one-year tour and was scheduled to return home at the end of the month.

A South Carolina National Guard Soldier and an interpreter were also killed in the incident. A Maryland National Guard Soldier was injured.

Berrettini, a nurse practitioner, was assigned to the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Medical Detachment, Erie Clinic. He volunteered to serve in Afghanistan and was assigned to the South Carolina National Guard.

“Lieutenant Colonel Berrettini was a committed and dedicated soldier who deeply cared for his fellow service members,” said Maj. Gen. Jessica L. Wright, state adjutant general. “We mourn the loss of Richard and our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this very trying time. He represented the best of our commonwealth and country and he made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Berrettini is the second Pennsylvania National Guard officer lost in combat since the 9/11 attacks. Lt. Col. Michael McLaughlin, 44, of Mercer was killed Jan. 5, 2006, by a suicide bomber at an Iraqi police recruiting station in Ramadi, Iraq.
Thirty Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As a civilian, Berrettini was a Port Allegheny High School nurse. He was a former active duty sailor and joined the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1984.

Berrettini is survived by his wife, Jane; mother, Doris; brother, Nello; and two sons Vincent, 26, and Christopher, 22. Vincent is a U.S. Air Force Academy graduate and an Air Force pilot. Christopher is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy.

He will be posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge.

The viewing will be held at the Adonizo Funeral Home, 251 William St., Pittstown, Pa.(near Scranton), on Wednesday, Jan. 16 from 7-9 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 17 from 1-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. The funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 237 William St., Pittstown, Friday, Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at the Mount Olivet Cemetery, 612 Mount Olivet Rd., Carverton, Pa., following the funeral mass.

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