May 2, 2013 Soldier’s goodbye: Funeral for Army Spc. Robert P. Hartwick…Hartwick, of Rockbridge, died June 6 when a rocket fired by insurgents struck Army quarters at a joint U.S.-Iraqi base in Baghdad. Four other soldiers were killed in the attack, including Spc. Michael B. Cook Jr., 27, of Middletown in southwestern Ohio.
“Robert was just a regular kid, just the average American kid. Now, he’s a hero,” said the Rev. John Williams.
The Rev. Williams, who pastors United Methodist Church congregations in Gibisonville and Rockbridge, baptized Hartwick when he was 9 and confirmed him at 13.
Mourners filled the pews of the Logan Church of the Nazarene.
Williams remembered Hartwick as a 2009 graduate of Logan High School who had struggled in class and endured some “rough spots” but went on to find success as a combat medic in the Army.
Army Spc. Tom Sunderlin had known Hartwick since elementary school. They stuck together “like peanut butter and jelly,” Sunderlin said.
“Robert was a great soldier and a great friend,” he said. “I have lost a lot of brothers in arms, but this has been the hardest for me.”
James Preston, Hartwick’s grandfather, remembered his grandson’s love of the outdoors, which included hiking in the Hocking Hills and deep-sea fishing in Florida….