Commander says Ohio should be proud of 3 who died


HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) -- Three Ohio National Guard soldiers killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan were family men who would have done anything for their comrades, and the state "should have nothing but pride," said a battalion commander working in Afghanistan.

The Wednesday attack in Maimanah, the capital of Faryab province, killed Sgt. 1st Class Shawn T. Hannon, 44, of Grove City; Capt. Nicholas J. Rozanski, 36, of Dublin; and Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey J. Rieck, 45, of Columbus. Four more members of their Ohio-based unit were wounded.

Their battalion commander, Lt. Col. Craig Baker of Pickerington, talked with the Dayton Daily News by telephone from Afghanistan. He declined to comment on the attack but said Ohio should be proud of the three soldiers.

"Ohio lost three very, very good men -- family men, well-trained soldiers, that were friends to us all," Baker said. "They would have done anything for us."

Hannon was chief legal counsel for the Ohio Department of Veterans Services. Rieck worked full time in the Guard's Family Readiness office. Rozanski had enlisted in 2003 and previously deployed to Kosovo and Iraq.

The head of the Ohio National Guard, Maj. Gen. Deborah Ashenhurst, was escorting the soldiers' remains back to the United States, Guard spokesman James Sims said Saturday. Ashenhurst was visiting troops in Afghanistan when the men were attacked.

They were from the Guard's 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which is based in Columbus but includes soldiers from across the state, according to the Ohio Adjutant General's Department. It sent 3,600 soldiers to Afghanistan last summer for a scheduled yearlong deployment.

Wednesday's attack, by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle, killed at least 13 people at a park in a relatively peaceful area of northern Afghanistan. It was part of an increase in violence at the start of the spring fighting season. The Taliban has claimed responsibility, but the bomber's target was unclear.

Wounded were 1st Lt. Christopher Rosebrock, of Hicksville; Spc. Austin Weigle, of Bryan; Cpl. Everett Haworth, of Olmsted Township in Cuyahoga County; and Pvt. 1st Class Jacob Williams, of Somerville.

Williams' stepfather, Shawn Herron, told the Dayton Daily News that Williams suffered shrapnel wounds but was doing well and was expected to return to Washington over the weekend.

Haworth's father, Everett R. Haworth, said his son has a broken leg and shrapnel wounds but was in good spirits and was expected to be brought back to the U.S. to have surgery and recover.

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