Antioch soldier dies in Afghanistan

March 11, 2011 4:37:14 AM PST
Specialist Andrew P. Wade, 22, died on Wednesday in Bagram, Afghanistan.

The Antioch native was injured in a non-combat related incident on Monday, March 7 in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

Wade was a soldier with the 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

Wade joined the U.S. Army in September 2008. He was deployed with Operation Enduring Freedom in spring 2010.

Wade's awards and decorations include the NATO medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

At the home in Antioch where wade grew up, a flag was lowered Thursday and loved ones were stunned.

"He's not only like a best friend to me, he's like a brother, someone you can't replace in life. And the memories we're all going to remember, we're going to take that with us and always remember what a great person he was," said Steve McNutt, friend.

As a member of the Antioch High School soccer team, Wade played sweeper, a crucial position that anchors the defense. It was a perfect role for him.

"He was a leader on the field, at practice, at games. He did everything a coach could ask of him," said Teri Klobnak, former coach. "He was always coming back to just kick the ball with the boys around, just to hang around with everyone around here, the coaches. We just had a great time seeing him."

"He was a very talented soccer player. Very, I would say, passionate about the game of soccer. When you were around him, I mean, he was a hard worker, great skills," said Charlie Trout, former coach.

"A great kid, a loving son, a brother, a friend," said Becky Dziekan, former coach. "Our country, this community, his family will mourn this for a long time."

Wade is survived by his mother and father.