Bert Edward Hoyer

When Spc. Bert E. Hoyer enlisted in the Army Reserves, he was looking for a way to pay for college. But he discovered he liked the reserves and talked about re-enlisting. “He was proud of what he was doing, and he knew why he was doing it”, Larry Hoyer said of his son. Hoyer, 23, of Ellsworth, Wis., was killed March 10 when an explosive hit his convoy in Baqouba, Iraq. Hoyer had exchanged letters and e-mails with sixth-grade students in Ellsworth, and was preparing to return home when he was killed. “He was in the process of getting stuff ready to come back”, his father said. The soldier, who was attending Vermillion Community College in Ely, Minn., was a semester away from graduating with a degree in wildlife management and forestry when he left for Iraq.

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Age: 23
Incident Location: Baqouba, Iraq
Branch: Army
Rank: Pfc.
Unit: 652nd Engineer Company, Army Reserve
Units Base: Ellsworth, Wisconsin