An Arkansas soldier, with family in Cherokee Village was killed Sept. 10 while serving his country in Afghanistan.
A proclamation obtained from Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe said First Lieutenant Tyler Edward Parten, 24, of Jonesboro was killed when insurgents attacked his unit where he was the platoon leader. Parten was a member of the Army's 3rd Squadron, 61st Calvary Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colo.
His family includes: his parents, Dave Parten of Marianna and Lona Pruett Parten of Jonesboro; a sister Anna Parten of Searcy; a brother Daniel Parten, a cadet at West Point Academy; his grandparents John and Sharon Pruett of Aubry and Lowell and Charleen Parten of Cherokee Village.
Parten graduated from Loc High School in Marianna. He graduated at the top of his class at West Point and had been serving his country in Operation Enduring Freedom since May.
Governor Beebe stated that, "All Arkansans and United States citizens owe Tyler a lasting debt of gratitude for his bravery and his heroism and should pay tribute to his faithful service."
In Beebe's proclamation he asked that all the state and American flags be flown at half mast to honor Partens with a debt of gratitude for his bravery and faithful service. The flags were flown as an expression of public sorrow on Sept. 17, the day when Parten was laid to rest in Mariana.
In a public statement Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor said, " He paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend the ideals of freedom and democracy that he so cherished and his life and service to our country will never be forgotten."
Parten's mother Lona said, "He accomplished his mission and there are six wounded soldiers being sent home because of his sacrifice."
Partens siblings and friends spoke at his memorial service, which was held on the square in Mariana. His sister said, "He was able to love unconditionally and put his faith in God in every step he took."
The Army honored Parten with a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Global War on Terrorism Medal.
According to the global security.org Web site, 4,259 soldiers have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since the war began in March, 2003.