Remembering the Life and Memory of...
SSgt. Terry W. Hemingway
Hometown: Willingboro, New Jersey, U.S.
Age: 39 years old
Died: April 10, 2003 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Unit: Army, C Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.
Birth: Sep. 29, 1963
New Jersey, USA
Death: Apr. 10, 2003, Iraq
Army Staff Sgt. Terry W. Hemingway, 39, of Willingboro, N.J.; assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, Ft. Benning, Ga.; killed when a car exploded next to his Bradley Fighting Vehicle while traveling down a street in Iraq.
He was a happy-go-lucky, "ordinary guy" who loved his family and worked diligently to be a good soldier. He had been deployed with the Army to several of the world's hot spots and had cheated death at least once before.
That's how relatives describe Terry Hemingway, 39, who was killed April 10 when a car exploded near his Bradley fighting vehicle. Family members say the Army told them it was a suicide attack at a checkpoint in Baghdad.
The 19-year veteran, who planned to retire after 20 years, previously was stationed in Panama, Germany and Korea, said his stepfather, Evine Shannon. On a 1988 trip home from Germany, he had been booked on — but missed taking — Pan Am Flight 103, which was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland.
But that's not what family and friends remember most.
"He was romantic," said his sister-in-law, Cheryl Tinsley. Hemingway and her sister, Darlene, met on Valentine's Day 1981 at a high school basketball game in Trenton, N.J. Even though they were from rival schools, they began a courtship that lasted eight years. They married in 1989 and have three children: Danisha, 7; Venetia, 9; and Terry Jr., 11.
Hemingway was born in South Carolina, but spent his youth in Trenton, N.J. "Growing up, he was a momma's boy," said his mother, Eva Shannon, of Willingboro, N.J. "He was a great soldier. He worked very hard at it."
She said Hemingway and her younger son, Gary, 35, who is also in the Army, would often talk about their jobs, "but they wouldn't tell me the details." Gary Hemingway, who arrived in the Persian Gulf a few days ago, is expected to return home with his brother's body, their mother said.
"My son died helping people who were in bondage gain their freedom," she said. "And it gives me great joy to know that he didn't die in vain. That's the way I want to remember Terry. Even when he wasn't in the Army, he always wanted to help someone else."