A former US Army infantryman, Dane Partridge felt “spiritual called” to volunteer with the Ukrainian army, his sister said.
BOISE, Idaho – In the days since Dane Partridge was fatally wounded while serving as a volunteer soldier in Ukraine, his sister has found comfort in surprising places. : First, a lost baseball cap is discovered in her laundry room, then in a photo of a dilapidated pickup truck with only one tire left on.
The 34-year-old Idaho man died Tuesday from his injuries in a Russian attack in Luhansk.
A former U.S. Army infantryman, Partridge feels “spiritual called” to volunteer with the Ukrainian army as they defend the country from Russian aggression, says Jenny Corry, his sister. know. He flew to Poland on a one-way ticket in April, his backpack filled with armor, helmets and other tactical gear.
Partridge wrote on her Facebook page on April 27. “Go to the embassy, get on the bus to the border, April 27.” From this point on, I will probably not give a location or take action. for good reason. I’ll let you all know I’m alive.”
According to Corry, Partridge joined a military unit that included a number of volunteers from other countries. Partridge and his other soldiers were in Severodonetsk, a city in the Luhansk region, when he was struck in the head by shrapnel during an attack by Russian combat vehicles, Corry said.
The unit had no stretcher and was still under attack, Corry said, but Partridge’s soldiers carried him on top of a blanket and loaded him and other wounded colleagues into a gray-painted pickup truck. to bring them to a safe place.
“I have a picture of the truck,” Corry said in a phone interview Friday. The photo shows a gray painted pickup truck with shredded rubber hanging from the wheel hubs. All but one of the tires was destroyed during the rush to safety.
“As a family, we really love that photo of the car – it speaks to the bravery of how they tried to save their lives and how they pushed that car to the final stop just to get to the hospital.” she said. “It speaks volumes.”
Partridge left behind five young children. Corry deflected the question about the children and some other parts of Partridge’s life, saying the family had agreed to focus on his military service out of respect for those “who are still alive and still are.” influenced by his personal life.”
“We wanted to focus only on the good things he’s done and don’t want to mention anything personal,” Corry said in a phone interview Friday.
Military service was an important part of Partridge’s life. He is the youngest of five children, and his father is a member of the United States Air Force. As a child, Partridge enjoyed wearing his father’s oversized camouflage uniform and playing the “military guy” in the dirt, Corry said.
By the time he graduated from high school, Partridge had become a sociable man with a loud voice and a playful personality, she said.
“When he showed up, you knew he was there. He has a bigger personality,” she said. “If someone was sad, he would make sure he cheered them on. He loves spending quality time with people.”
He enlisted in the US Army in 2006 and served in Baghdad as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2007 to 2009 before leaving the army in 2012.
He doesn’t talk much about his experiences in Iraq, but she knows some of them have weighed on him throughout his life.
“He was a Humvee driver, and when he was training, they told him as a driver that if he tried to save himself his people would probably be killed, but if he saves his people he will most likely be killed,” Corry said. her brother told her. “It was something profound to him.”
However, it is the battlefield where Partridge thrives. Corry credits adrenaline, a sense of purpose and a heightened sense of service that drew him.
“It was almost as if he could say he had a bigger purpose to fulfill,” she said. “Sometimes it’s harder for him to integrate into the civilian world.”
When Russia invaded Ukraine, Partridge felt the need to help the Ukrainians. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and believes she is being called spiritually to join the fight, she said.
“He believed it to the very fiber of his body, and he wanted to honor his God,” she said.
He stayed with Corry for a while before he made the trip to Ukraine. After she leaves, she finds his camouflage baseball cap left in her laundry room. She said it was strange because he was very neat and organized, and never left his things around.
“I was just going to put it aside, and it sat there for a while,” she said, pausing for shaky breaths. “And the day I decided to pick it up and wear it because I wanted to feel close to him was the day he passed away.”
Partridge’s family knows he may not be coming home. Some encouraged him to think about his decision a little longer, but Partridge still intends to serve, she said.
“We are very sad, but because of the circumstances people thought he might have passed away. Corry said. “In a way, that’s something that we had to understand when he got there.”
Partridge was comatose and on life support for 8 days before dying. Family members had the opportunity to say goodbye, long distance, before he passed, she said.
The family is raising money to try to get Partridge’s remains home for burial in Blackfoot, Idaho. They also hope to raise money to replace the truck his unit used to get Partridge to the hospital, and buy other essential supplies for his unit, she said.
“We just wanted to do something to give the men back the money,” Corry said.
According to reports by their families and the US State Department, at least four other US citizens were killed while fighting in Ukraine. The Ukrainian government has recruited people with military experience to join the International Corps for the Defense of Ukraine.
https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/ukraine/idaho-man-ukraine-death/507-47001508-b92d-40bf-a039-9c1625107e0b Dane Partridge: US man from Idaho dies in Ukraine-Russia war