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Sgt Nathan Stanley Barnes
Birth: Jun. 3, 1984
American Fork
Utah County
Utah, USA
Death: Jul. 17, 2007, Iraq

OBITUARY from the Desert News July 2007 -

Nathan S. Barnes 1984 -2007

Sergeant Nathan S. Barnes was killed in action near Rushdi Mullah in Iraq on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 at the age of 23. He was born on June 3, 1984 and was a life-time resident of American Fork. Nathan is the the fifth of six children and is survived by his parents, his sister, his brothers, his grandfather, who received a purple heart in World War II, his grandmother a former Navy Wave, six nieces and five nephews. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 28, 2007 at the Alpine Tabernacle on the corner of 100 East and Main in American Fork at 1:00 p.m. A public viewing will be held on Friday, July 27 at the LDS chapel at 150 West 1120 North in American Fork beginning at 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. A graveside service will follow the funeral at the American Fork City Cemetery for family members and close friends. There are few words to express the sorrow we feel because of the loss of our son and brother. We know that many of you are mourning as well. Like you, our hearts are filled with admiration for his service and sacrifice. In his death, he has made himself more than most of us could ever hope to be. Although we would rather have Nathan back we are inspired by his actions and will always remember him for his heroism. He, like many soldiers before him, ran into the fire to preserve what lay behind. His death reminds us all that our liberty has come at the ultimate cost many thousands of times over. We are heartened by the knowledge that we shall see him again. He has been called home by that God who gives us all life for His purpose. We have faith that Nathan is still in the service of God and will be waiting for us when our time comes and we shall be together as a family again. To, our beloved son and brother, till we meet again at Jesus' feet, God speed.

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Nathan S. Barnes was born the 5th of six children on June 3, 1984, in American Fork, Utah, and SGT Nathan S. Barnes was killed in action on, July 17, 2007, as he exited a helicopter, near Rushdi Mullah, Iraq. He was part of the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, out of Fort Drum, New York.

Nathan Barnes was an intelligent and thoughtful young man. He was an avid reader and he loved to write about what he read. He and his sister would have deeply philosophical conversations about life and about what they had read. Often their discussions would be so thought provoking it would take her some time to come up with an answer to his questions.

Nathan loved the outdoors. He loved everything about the outdoors – camping, biking, hiking, boating, and running. He was a cross-country runner and told his family being in the Army made it difficult to find time to run. He could never be still, he always had to be doing something.

Nathan joined the Army at the age of 19 and was deployed to Iraq in August 2006. SGT Barnes had a great fondness for the people of Iraq, especially the children. On one mission he got out his flashlight and made shadow figures on the wall for the children and made them laughed – he liked making the children laugh. He had told his family that he was very concerned about the children there. It was his plan to return home from his service in the Army, attend college, become a Physician's Assistant, and return to Iraq to help the people, especially the children.

Nathan was devoted to his family. After he joined the Army he would call them nearly every Sunday. He was expected to return home around Christmas in 2007. His family had plans of a huge hero's welcome home upon his return. However, his family would be making plans for a hero's welcome of another sort.

SGT Nathan S. Barnes' funeral service was held on July 27, 2007, were he was given a hero's farewell. Deep affection and pride were paid to SGT Barnes by his brothers and by his sister. They were certain that he had volunteered for the mission that took his life, because that was the sort of person he was. After the two hour tribute, the funeral procession made its way to the cemetery along a street lined with Boys Scouts holding U.S. flags and stand at attention as the hearse carrying SGT Barnes' casket passed by. At the cemetery the air was filled with the sound of bagpipes from a lone bagpiper. After the dedication of his grave, his parents were presented with the Bronze Star Metal and Purple Heart that were posthumously awarded to SGT Barnes and his mother was presented the flag that draped his casket. At the end of the service the family placed white roses on his casket and his mother lovingly embraced the flag that had draped her son's casket as the family left the cemetery.

(See "15 more photos not showing" for photos of SGT Barnes' funeral)

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Some comments made by those in his unit about SGT Nathan S. Barnes:

"Thank you for raising such a great young man."

"We knew him for a short time, but he touched us deeply."

"There is not enough good to say about him. He was just full of life and he'd do anything for people."

"He really took care of his soldiers and he loved his job and took it seriously."

"He was the most caring guy you could ever meet."

His company team leader told his men to remember that the grief they were feeling for the loss of SGT Barnes was nothing compared to what his family was feeling. He told them to remember his family and keep them in their prayers and to keep SGT Barnes in their memories.

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As a tribute to SGT Barnes his family and members of the community he grew up in gathered together items such as sewing machines, book bags and school supplies, clothing, food, and wheelchairs for the people of the town where SGT Barnes was killed and Yuaidiyah where SGT Barnes also served. The donations filled a 40-foot container. When the container arrived the goods were distributed to the people and the officer in command made a point to tell them who SGT Nathan Barnes was, how he died, and what kind of loving family he came from. After seeing photos of the people receiving the donations his mother said that the significance of the project helped with the family's grief and helped give purpose to what happened to her son.

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In November of 2009, the city of American Fork renamed the block that SGT Nathan S. Barnes grew up on "Nathan Barnes Street". In April 2010, the city of American Fork as a further tribute to SGT Barnes named the entire street the "Nathan Barnes Street"

Tuesday marks the 5th anniversary of the death of Army Sgt. Nathan S. Barnes, the only American Fork son killed in the Iraq war.

Sgt. Barnes, who served in the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry, was killed on July 17, 2007, as he prepared to exit a landing helicopter in South Baghdad; he was 23, almost one year into his tour in Iraq.

Jay Barnes, his brother, said Nathan was on an air assault mission that started taking fire during landing. The soldiers inside the helicopter started pouring out when the gunshots began, but Nathan suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the neck before making it out the door, his brother said.

On Nov. 10, 2009, the City Council of American Fork passed a resolution renaming 350 West “Nathan Barnes Street,” the place where the soldier grew up and whose parents still reside.

Nathan's sister, Lisa Blake, called him an ideal brother who loved the outdoors, reading and writing. She nicknamed him "Noodle, because he was so skinny," she said. "I will never go to the mountains again without wishing he was there."

Tim Barnes, Nathan’s brother, says he is best remembered for his love of children. During one mission, Nathan spent some time in a basement room with three little Iraqi boys who reminded him of his family growing up. “He got out his flashlight and made shadow puppets on the wall,” said Tim Barnes. “He liked to make them laugh.”

According to the family, Nathan planned to use his GI Bill money to study to become a physician's assistant. He hoped to use this training to return to Iraq to provide health care for people there.

The news of Nathan's death shook the local community. At his burial, hundreds of Scouts and their leaders lined both sides of the entire procession, standing at attention as the hearse and dozens of cars passed. The route from the Alpine Tabernacle to the city cemetery was shut down to all traffic. Family and friends were greeted by a bagpipe player. The burial site was lined with a double row of flags.

Less than a year later, in memory of Nathan, a group of volunteers sent a 40-foot shipping container to Iraq. It included sewing machines, book bags, newborn kits, personal hygiene items, food, toys, children's and women's clothing, school supplies and wheelchairs. It was donated to residents in and around Rushdi Mullah and Yusifiyah, places Barnes did most of his service in Iraq.

One of the wheelchairs donated by the Barnes family went to an Iraqi boy who had lost his legs in an explosion.


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I have the honor and the privilege of wearing a hero bracelet with the name of SGT Nathan S. Barnes engraved on it. When I received the bracelet I had to find out all that I could about this young man. The more I found about this extraordinary young man, the more I had to find. I have a deep affection for this young soldier and am so proud of him. I visit his grave every month and leave him flowers. I can hardly wait for the day to come when I am able to meet Nathan Stanley Barnes and thank him for his sacrifice and to tell him just what he means to me and how much he affected my life.

Until that day SGT Nathan Stanley Barnes . . .

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Thank you for remembering this wonderful young man!

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-front stone inscription
back stone inscription
American Fork Cemetery
American Fork
Utah County
Utah, USA
Plot: G_39_3
Maintained by: Zuzu*s Petals
Originally Created by: Elizabeth Reed
Record added: Jul 18, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20515057
Sgt Nathan Stanley Barnes
Added by: Elizabeth Reed
Sgt Nathan Stanley Barnes
Added by: Ami Bartholomew
Sgt Nathan Stanley Barnes
Added by: Ami Bartholomew
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In thankful memory. May you rest in heavenly peace.
- Kathy N
 Added: May. 29, 2017

- Lღve Fღrever
 Added: May. 10, 2017

- Sent with love~Cerise
 Added: May. 9, 2017
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