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Edmond soldier is killed in Afghanistan attack

A soldier from Oklahoma was killed in Afghanistan. He died in an attack Monday, his grandfather, of Edmond, said.
BY ROBERT MEDLEY and BRYAN DEAN Modified: March 13, 2013 at 6:32 am •  Published: March 12, 2013

UPDATE 6:30 a.m. The U.S. Department of Defense has released the names of soldiers killed in Afghanistan Monday in an attack.They died March 11, in Jalrez District, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when they were attacked by small arms fire.Killed were:Staff Sgt. Rex L. Schad, 26, of Edmond, Okla. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.Capt. Andrew M. Pedersen-Keel, 28, of South Miami, Fla. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.

A week after Rex Schad graduated high school in Edmond, his mother paid the application fees to enroll him at the University of Central Oklahoma.

A few hours later he “confessed” that what he really wanted to do was join the Army, said his mother, Colleen Whipple. Schad unenrolled from UCO and joined the military.

The 25-year-old staff sergeant died Monday in Afghanistan, the victim of an insider attack by an Afghan police officer, family members said.

Schad had been in Afghanistan since November on his second tour, said his grandfather, Harold Whipple, of Edmond.

Two chaplains and an Army sergeant visited the family Monday afternoon and told them Schad had been killed earlier in the day.

Colleen Whipple said she knew her son had been killed when she saw men sitting in a van outside her house.

“It's a shame,” Colleen Whipple said. “But it's what he wanted to do.”

Family members said Schad never wavered from the commitment he made to the Army just after he graduated high school.

“He was a soldier,” Harold Whipple said. “He was where he wanted to be. Not only did he enlist in the Army, but he had asked to be put in the infantry.”

U.S. Army officials reported two soldiers and two Afghan police officers were killed Monday in eastern Afghanistan when another Afghan police officer opened fire on them. The attacker also was killed in the shoot-out in the eastern Wardak province.

Abdul Razaq Koraishi, the province's deputy police chief, said an Afghan police officer stood up in the back of a police pickup, grabbed a machine gun and started firing at a team led by U.S. special operations and a group of Afghan policemen in the police compound in Jalrez district. In addition to those killed, four police officers were wounded.

The U.S. Defense Department has not released the names of the soldiers killed, but family members said one of them was Schad.

Schad was a 2005 Edmond Memorial High School graduate, Colleen Whipple said.

“It's a tragic loss, but I cannot be more proud of him,” Colleen Whipple said. “He was an extraordinary young man taken too soon.”

Friends and fellow soldiers, many of whom referred to Schad as a brother, posted notes of condolence on his Facebook page.

“I will miss you,” Guillermo Rivas said. “It was great honor to serve with you, but it was a greater honor to be your friend. You left this land in body but your memory will live forever.”

Harold Whipple said Schad was sent to Afghanistan from Fort Stewart, Ga. He had lived in Edmond from age 2 until he left to join the Army.

Schad's body is en route to Dover, Del., family members said. Services are pending with Baggerly Funeral Home in Edmond.


The Associated Press

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