KIA September 4, 2009
Operation Enduring Freedom
Assigned to 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska
Army 2LT Darryn Andrews died September 4, 2009, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device and rocket-propelled grenade in Yahya Khail District, Afghanistan.
Duty to country was a long-standing value in Darryn’s life. Growing up he learned the value and importance of patriotism from his family. Darryn’s father and uncle had both served in the Air Force, as well as his grandfather who had been an Army P.O.W. during WWII. Darryn had wanted to be a soldier since the age of 14. Early on he attempted the Marines’ Officer Candidate School but was injured during training and sent home. He then tried his hand at working in the business world, as well as coaching and teaching, but after 9/11 Darryn’s decision to enlist in the Army was set in stone. “He just came home one weekend and told me that’s what he was going to do,” his mother said. After returning home from his first tour in Afghanistan, 2LT Andrews learned of the Army Green to Gold Program, which gives enlisted soldiers the opportunity to earn a commission as an Officer. He was accepted into the program, obtained his Master’s degree from Texas State University, and ultimately achieved his commission in 2008.
While on his second tour in Afghanistan, instead of remaining at Army Headquarters (where he would remain safe), 2LT Andrews requested to have his own platoon. While on patrol with his unit, his vehicle was hit by an IED and he was placed on restricted duty. When he learned his men were going back out, he took himself off restricted duty and returned to active duty. During a patrol on September 4, the vehicle in front of his was hit by an IED. Instead of remaining safely in his vehicle, 2LT Andrews ran to assist in recovering the damaged vehicle. When he looked up, an RPG was being fired directly at them by Taliban forces. 2LT Andrews immediately pushed his fellow soldiers out of the line of fire, sacrificing his own life. For his heroic actions, 2LT Darryn Andrews was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal, the third highest military decoration for valor.
2LT Darryn Andrews was 32 years old from Dallas, Texas
Original portrait was presented May 23, 2013 to his parents and family during a special event hosted by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas.