North Valley soldier dies in Afghanistan

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
North Valley soldier dies in Afghanistan
EMBED <>More Videos

The Department of Defense has confirmed a North Valley soldier died while serving in Afghanistan.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Department of Defense has confirmed a North Valley soldier died while serving in Afghanistan.

Action News spoke with Spc. Terry Hurne's stepmother over the phone. She asked for the family's privacy but added she wanted the young soldier to be remembered as a loving person who will be missed by many people.

Hurne, 34, was deployed in Afghanistan. The Department of Defense says he supported Operation Enduring Freedom before his death. The Army soldier graduated from Atwater High School in 1998 and was a member of the school's Culinary Club, choir and Sierra Nevada Club.

School leaders say his death is a major loss to the entire community. "It's obviously a very hard situation, we are will very much a military town," said principal Alan Peterson. He added, "I think it hits our area hard and our school hard. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

A small group gathered on Tuesday evening for a moment of silence in honor of Hurne. Anita Richards hasn't met his family but she knows their pain. Richards is a Gold Star mom who lost her son, Staff Sgt. Frank Gasper while he was deployed in 2008. "When it happens to another family it's just like it's happening to you all over again because you have been through it and you know what the family sees ahead and what they are going to be going through," said Richards.

The group is currently organizing a special run for fallen soldiers in August, and with the family's consent, they hope to run this year as a way to pay tribute to Hurne. "Right now it's a very difficult time for them, a very emotional time for them, and we just want to give them the privacy," said Richards.

A soldier who was deployed with Hurne described him as someone with the most infectious and happy attitude who made everyone around him feel at home, even though they were all about half a world away.