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Family remembers fallen soldier

Updated: Wednesday, October 16 2013, 04:46 PM CDT
Written by: Chris Papst

A family and community is in mourning after a Lancaster County soldier was killed in Afghanistan.  Staff Sergeant Patrick Quinn became the second local soldier to die, in the past week, while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. 

I'm proud of him, he served his country.  I told him I loved him.  I hugged him goodbye.  That was the last we saw him, said Dan Jennings.

On Sunday, October 13, while on a mission in Afghanistan Staff Sergeant Patrick Quinn was killed by enemy fire.

 For the Jennings family of Quarryville, the news hit hard.

Its just heartbreaking, said Theresa Jennings.  You just cry because you have all these memories of this young man who has his whole life ahead of him.

The Jennings' were a big part of Quinn's life. When Quinn entered ninth grade, he found himself with no place to live.  So, Dan and Teresa Jennings, despite have four kids of their own, took him in. 

He didnt have nowhere to go and we just said come live with us.  There's always room for one more, said Teresa.  "But he was a blessing", Dan added.

Quinn slept on the family's couch for the next four years and excelled at Solanco High School.  He was on the cross country and track teams.  He was involved in student government and the newspaper.  After graduation he joined the military and moved to Alaska.  There he met his wife together they have three young boys.  The 26-year-old had already served one tour of duty in Iraq, then joined the Special Forces and went back to the Middle East. 
 
"Oh, he was fun.  He was a funny guy, a loveable guy.  Well just love him forever and remember all that he was to us. I thank God we will always have those memories of him and that he was a part of our lives for that short of a time", said Teresa.

Quinn was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. 

At Solanco High School the school spirit flag if flying at half-staff and the assistance principal told CBS-21 the school will find a way to more permanently honor Quinn's sacrifice.Family remembers fallen soldier


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