WARE — A local soldier died Monday while serving in Iraq’s Al Anbar province, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Pfc. Brian P. Odiorne, 21, was killed in a non-combat-related incident, officials stated in a news release. Few details about his death were released Tuesday and the circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation by special agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, according to the Ford Hood Press Center.
Odiorne had served with the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas, since May 2016. He entered active-duty military service in October 2015, according to the press center.
Odiorne was serving as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-backed campaign to dislodge the Islamic State from Iraq and Syria. He was near Ramadi, Iraq, when he died, according to the Department of Defense.
Odiorne was a 2014 graduate of Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School in Palmer where he studied machine technology and played on the football team.
“He was a very mild-mannered and gentle soul, well-liked by the students,” Principal Mary Jane Rickson said. “A very, very nice boy.”
His football coach, Christopher Pope, recalled a time when a class used software to show how students would age if they started smoking. Odiorne’s portrait looked particularly “horrible,” Pope said, so he asked if Odiorne would be open to sharing the photo with the Palmer Journal Register.
“If it’ll help people, I’ll do it,” Pope remembered Odiorne saying.
Family members contacted Tuesday declined to comment and requested privacy.
Brianna Woodman said she lived down the street from Odiorne growing up.
“He was so friendly, kind, caring and was always making sure everyone in his life was OK,” she said. Woodman said they kept in touch over the years. Odiorne asked her recently to check up on his grandmother “so she doesn’t worry since he couldn’t always call her.”
“I told him I had no problem doing that at all,” she said. “And that was the last time I heard from him.”
Odiorne will be posthumously awarded the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal and Overseas Service Ribbon, according to the Fort Hood Press Center. His other honors included the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Medal.
Jack Suntrup can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.