Valley Soldier Killed in Suicide Attack after Building a School

Friday, February 19, 2010

David Hartman was born in Merced, and spent most of his childhood in Los Banos. That's where a memorial service was held for him this week. He and other American soldiers died in Pakistan while traveling to a school they had just helped build.

As she struggles with her son's untimely death, Trea Bacon said she finds comfort knowing that the last time they spoke via Skype, an online telephone and video service was on the same day he died. She said, "He did say I love you mom, and my parents were right behind me so we all got to say I love you and got to say good bye and for that I'm thankful."

27-year-old David Hartman, along with two other U.S. soldiers were killed in Pakistan on February third after their humvee was hit by a suicide bomber. The Merced native had been in the army for nearly ten years.

He had already served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, but had been in Pakistan since November on a non-combat mission, building homes and acting as a military liaison between the U.S. and Pakistani government.

"He just enjoyed helping people; he enjoyed it better than having to pick up a gun and hurt people," said Bacon.

David's memorial service was held at a chapel in Los Banos where his family still lives. They said hundreds of mourners were on hand to see his casket be honored with the bronze star and the Purple Heart.

"I just want everyone to be as proud of him as I am." Bacon said she'll remember her son for his strength and love of music. Still, she said his greatest legacy is his family. He leaves behind a wife, a one year old son, and a baby on the way.

"He was loved by a lot of people and the world is a little bit dimmer without him in it," said Bacon.

Three children and a Pakistani soldier were also killed in the February third blast.

David will be buried at the Arlington National Cemetery. That service will be held in April.

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pakistan, merced, los banos, local, shannon handy
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