Resolution honors local fallen soldier
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 17, 2006
NATCHEZ &8212; He lives on in the hearts of his friends and family.
But almost five months to the day Sgt. Willard Todd Partridge was killed on duty in Iraq at age 35, the Legislature is making sure the slain soldier is honored on paper, too.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 516 commends the military service of Partridge, who died Aug. 20 in Iraq when the vehicle he was driving hit an explosive device in the road.
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&8220;It is with great pride and humility that we recognize the heroic action of this great American and Mississippian,&8221; the resolution reads.
Partridge&8217;s wife, Rhonda, moved back to her native Vidalia from Fort Lewis, Wash., in November with their daughters, Kelsee and Kymberlee.
Hearing news of the resolution authored by Sen. Bob Dearing, D-Natchez, a measure that&8217;s passed the Senate and is now before the House Rules Committee, she could only describe the gesture as &8220;wonderful.&8221;
&8220;I&8217;m really proud of it,&8221; said Partridge&8217;s mother, Camille McKinney of Natchez. &8220;It means a lot. He served his country and gave his life for it, and it&8217;s good for that to be recognized in this way.&8221;
Partridge a Ferriday native, grew up in Natchez and graduated in 1988 from South Natchez High School and attended Copiah-Lincoln Community College. He worked for Natchez&8217;s Johns Manville plant until it closed in 2002.
In the military, he was stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash., with the 170th Military Police Company. He had been in the Army two years and started his second tour of duty in Iraq in February.
His squad was assigned to support the Al Dora IP Station in southern Baghdad. He and his fellow soldiers assisted in proving security and training and setting up a new weapons maintenance program for the Iraqi police.
He received 11 honors for his military service, including three given posthumously: the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart and a Good Conduct Medal.