Based: Ft. Lewis, Wash.
1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: December 8, 2003
Balad (9 km northeast of), Iraq
Married, 4 children
Burial: Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, Wash.
Army Staff Sgt. Steven H. Bridges of Tracy, a father of four who had hoped to become a history teacher when he finished his military career, died Monday on a nighttime patrol north of Baghdad.Read the full LA Times article about Army Staff Sergeant Steven H. Bridges here, find messages and remembrances here and Sergeant Bridges' photograph is to be found here.
Army officials said Bridges, 33, was in one of two Stryker vehicles -- a lightweight, high-tech troop carrier introduced only recently in Iraq -- that plunged into a canal when the dike on which they were driving suddenly collapsed.
Two other soldiers, Spc. Joseph M. Blickenstaff, 23, and Spc. Christopher J. Rivera Wesley, 26, both of Oregon, also died in the accident.
Bridges graduated from Tracy High in 1988 and, to the surprise of his family, joined the Army in 1991.
He is survived by his wife, Debra; their 5-year-old daughter; and three stepchildren from his wife's earlier marriage.
In a statement read by military authorities in Ft. Lewis, Debra Bridges said of her husband: "He knew that he was going to miss his family and, at times, expected he might not see us again. But he deployed with confidence that he was well-trained and ready. No one could have predicted the accident that suddenly took this man from our lives."
His parents, Sheldon and Loretta Bridges, live in Tracy.