Three weeks into his deployment to Iraq, Army Sgt. 1st Class Rich Herrema, 27, died April 25 in gunfire from Iraqi insurgents in Baghdad. Herrema was a member of Forest Grove Christian Reformed Church, Hudsonville, Mich.
His parents, Richard and Mary Herrema, said their son’s faith shone in his seven-year Army career, the last three in the Special Forces.
“He loved the Lord, and that was always his first thing in life—to honor the Lord. He started the day with Bible study with other soldiers,” Mary Herrema said. “He was always very humble and never would have told us that, but we heard that from other people.”
Herrema was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star Medal for valor, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Purple Heart, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.