August 28, 2012 9:47:47 AM
GREENWOOD -- U.S. Army Pfc. Patricia Horne enjoyed serving her country as a member of one of the Army's elite units.
"She told me a few weeks ago that she was going to re-enlist," her mother, Betty Horne, told the Greenwood Commonwealth Monday. "The Army would pay for her schooling. She wanted to be a doctor."
Unfortunately, the 20-year-old didn't get that chance.
On Friday, while stationed at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan, Horne became the latest Mississippi soldier to die while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom. She is the 36th military woman to die in Afghanistan during the past 11 years. The military did not immediately release a cause of death.
Horne was assigned to the 96th Aviation Support Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division as a personnel office clerk and had been in Afghanistan for about a month, her mother said. For most of her nearly three years of service, she was stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., she added.
Betty Horne said her daughter -- one of six children -- was intelligent and driven and graduated from Greenwood High School in 2010. She said she was notified of her daughter's death on Friday.
She said although her daughter's body was returned to the United States on Sunday at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, it will be five to seven days before it will be released to the family. Funeral arrangements, as a result, have not been finalized.
Mayor Carolyn McAdams said Horne's death is a sobering reminder of the sacrifice of men and women in uniform.
"You know the war is going on but until something like this happens, it hits home dramatically," she said.
The mayor said all citizens need to be thankful for those who serve their country, defending freedom around the globe.
"My heart and my prayers go out to the family. We are most grateful for her serving," McAdams said.