10 Now 01/29/07:
Southern Tier soldier killed in Iraq
Updated: 1/29/2007 5:55 PM
By: Evan Axelbank
The Southern Tier village of Candor is mourning the loss of a soldier. Nathan Fairlie, 21, was killed in Iraq last week.
The news spread quickly down Main Street of the small village. Flags were raised outside, and inside a grocery store, Nathan Fairlie's pee wee football coach was devastated.
"It's always hard to lose one of the kids that you've known and tried to help along the way," said the coach, Lee Rennells.
The former defensive lineman was killed in Iraq on Friday, at 21, when a roadside bomb took out his Army combat vehicle. Although he'd been stationed far away, at Fort Hood in Texas, Fairlie's sense of humor was at the tip of everyone's tongue. Rennells had an easy trick to teach Fairlie how to play defense.
"Think of the football as a twinkie, and go get it! And he did!" Rennells said.
Fairlie went on to graduate from Candor High School in 2004. He's remembered for football, but more for just being a guy who cared about everyone around him.
"He was close to the staff, and he really cared deeply about this place," said Ryan Dougherty, the Candor High School principal said.
He also cared about his country. Fairlie had dreamt of joining the army for years, and let everyone know he wanted to be a soldier.
From talking to his family, he knew the dangers, but it's something that he would discuss frequently.
He died following his dreams. Nathan Fairlie, a young man who just about everyone knew before, now, a name no one in Candor will forget.
& Sun-Bulletin pressconnects.com 01/30/07
Candor soldier recalled as 'wonderful young man'
By Monique Lewis
Press & Sun-Bulletin
CANDOR -- As Karen and Paul Fairlie await word on when their son's body will be brought home, some of Nathan Fairlie's teachers remembered him as a personable young man who will be sorely missed.
Fairlie, of Candor, was driving a Bradley Fighting Vehicle when an explosive device killed him on Friday in Baqubah, Iraq, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. The 21-year-old soldier was assigned to the 6th Squadron, 9th Calvary Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Calvary Division of Fort Hood, Texas.
Fairlie will be missed by the Candor High School community, said Principal Ryan Dougherty. Fairlie graduated in 2004 and was a lineman for the school's football team.
"Obviously, we're deeply saddened," Dougherty said. "He was just a wonderful young man, special kid and shining personality. He will be missed deeply."
The school district's thoughts and prayers are with the Fairlie family, Dougherty said. The school appreciates Fairlie's service and sacrifice beyond what words can describe, he added.
Dougherty said the school is considering a couple of memorial events, but the crisis response team hasn't made a decision on when and what that activity will be, Dougherty said.
Fairlie's high school football coach, Mike Swartz, said he will always remember Fairlie for his original sense of humor. "He would say something and everybody would laugh," he said.
Swartz had known Fairlie for several years, ever since they first crossed paths when Swartz was Fairlie's elementary substitute teacher. He said Fairlie was always an active person.
"I remember when he was in school for 9/11 and we watched it in my office during physical education class," Swartz recalled. "Right then, he wanted to take care of things. He was a little fired up about it."
Fairlie was doing what he always wanted to do and always talked about the military, Swartz said. "He would call me quite often about what he was doing. He was always excited about what he was doing," he said.
Karen Fairlie said she expects to soon schedule a funeral service for her son.
TV 12 01/28/07:
Father Mourns Son Killed in Iraq
"He had some toughness that I always admired of him and I think anybody that knew him knew the same thing," said Paul
That's how Paul Fairlie of Candor remembers his son, Private First Class Nathan
Since learning that Nathan was one of the latest US casualties of the Iraq War, Fairlie has reflected on the good memories he and his son shared.
"He was looking forward to coming home, spending some time , doing some hunting, being with the family."
Fairlie was a 2004 graduate of Candor High School, where he played football.
His father says hunting was one of his favorite hobbies.
Nathan's best catch, a ten point buck, still hangs in the family living room.
Fairlie loved outdoors life, one reason why he joined the Army.
His father says he wanted to be on the front lines, in the middle of the action.
He enlisted a few months after graduation, and left for his first tour in Iraq last October.
His father talked to him last Monday, and says Nathan knew he was facing a tough assignment.
One he knew he might not return from.
"He just said, whatever happens just be proud of me. And we are, we're going to miss him."
Fairlie's father says he'll remember his son every time he passes this tree in their front yard.
It was planted the year Nathan was born.
It stands sturdy and strong.
The way Fairlie served and died for his country.
Fairlie was scheduled to return home early next month.
His funeral plans won't be finalized until his body is flown home from overseas.