Army Sgt. Ross A. Pennanen

Army Sgt. Ross A. Pennanen

Died November 02, 2003 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom

36, of Shawnee, Okla.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Sill, Okla.; killed Nov. 2 in an attack on a CH-47 Chinook helicopter near Fallujah, Iraq. Richard Pennanen’s experiences as a member of the Air Force led him to encourage his son, Ross Pennanen, to join the military as well. “He had listened to his dad talk about how much he had gained from being in the military,” Richard’s wife, Linda Pennanen, said. “Richard had always encouraged him to do that.” “He gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country — his life,” Richard Pennanen said. Sgt. Ross Pennanen, 36, of Shawnee, Okla., was among 16 soldiers killed in the Nov. 2 downing of a helicopter carrying troops home on leave. He was stationed at Fort Sill, Okla. Although he joined the Army when he was 34, Pennanen “was very gung-ho” and physically fit from studying martial arts, stepbrother Brent Shreck said. “He was always spit-and-polish and had his uniform shoes shined,” Shreck said. “He was well-liked by his comrades,” said his biological mother, Erma Pennanen. Shreck said Pennanen saw enlisting in the military as a way to invest in his future. “He figured this would be a way to pay for school,” he said. “He saw it as a way to improve his life, improve himself.” Pennanen also is survived by his 7-year-old son, Gage.
— Associated Press

Leave a Comment