Army Staff Sgt. Shane S. Barnard
Died May 19, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom
38, of De Smet, S.D.; assigned to the 3rd Ordnance Battalion (Explosive Ordnance Detachment), Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; died May 19 in Zabul province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when he stepped on a secondary improvised explosive device.
(The following was taken from www.newscenter1.tv of June 3, 2010) South Dakota Staff Sergeant Shane Barnard died last month in the line of duty in Afghanistan.
Before being assigned to a battalion in Washington state, he lived in De Smet for 10 years. His funeral was held there on Thursday afternoon.
Thearon Hamill, a fellow soldier, says, "Shane is absolutely, he may not be everybody's hero, but he is certainly my hero. He's done a lot for not just me, but he has done a lot for my family as well for the people of Afghanistan he was attempting to liberate."
Sgt. Shane Barnard was serving in Afghanistan by choice, volunteering to take the place of a fellow soldier who had young children.
Sgt. Thearon Hamill also says, "It’s absolutely remarkable that there's anybody at all willing to do something like that."
Those who knew Sgt. Shane Barnard say the funeral service that was held at Lake Thompson was more than he ever would have asked for.
Sgt. Russell Ho, a fellow soldier, says, "It seems like everybody came out. We're honored the community has rallied. Just to see the support he's been given, especially the small town."
Sgt. Barnard's entire unit joined friends, family, and the De Smet community to remember his life, some traveling more than 23 hours to be there. Atrip they say was more than worth it.
Luke Moen, a fellow soldier, says, "At the end of the day, I knew he was always there for me. And it's really good that all these guys, including myself, could be here for him today. It was very, very tough. But it was an extreme honor."
In the military, Barnard's job was disarming improvised explosive devices; a very dangerous job that his fellow soldiers say he did with a passion.
Sgt Russell Ho says, "One of the main jobs we do as a IED Tech is we protect personnel and property. That’s our main mission. And he took that as far as putting down his own life to protect personnel that were out there."
Luke Moen, who was deployed with Barnard to Iraq, says, "Every single one of these guys that he worked with will tell you that his commitment was non tiring, not only to them but to his family, and to his country, because he was doing it for all the right reasons. And you could see it in every thing that he did."
Sgt. Barnard will be missed by many; by his family, by his friends, and by his brothers he served with.
Luke Moen says, "He definitely set the example."
"He was the epitome of what we do," says Sgt Russell Ho
Sgt. Barnard's family was very involved in the funeral service, along with military members. His father-in-law officiated the service, and his sister-in-law sang many of the songs.