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Fairfax Soldier Killed In Grenade Attack

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 18, 2008

An Army soldier from Fairfax County was killed in Iraq on Wednesday when he and two other soldiers were attacked by grenade and small-arms fire during a combat operation, the Army said yesterday.

David H. Sharrett II, 27, grew up in the Oakton area, was a star defensive end on the Oakton High School football team and lived in Northern Virginia until he decided to enlist in the military in 2006, his father, David H. Sharrett, said yesterday.

"He joined the Army because he wanted to serve his country," his father said. "He just felt like he needed to do this and felt like he was doing the right thing."

Sharrett was born in Woodstock, Va., but lived nearly all of his life in the Oakton area, attending Oakton Elementary and Cooper Intermediate schools. He is survived by his parents, two younger brothers and his wife, Heather.

Sharrett was a devoted reader and student of history, his father said. "When a lot of kids were playing video games, he was reading history books," and he took Shakespeare with him to Iraq, his father said.

As a senior at Oakton High, he was a stalwart player on a 1998 team that posted the best record in school history to that point, 10-2, and lost to Centreville in the Northern Region finals. His father said Sharrett was selected to play in the Super 44 statewide All-Star game and graduated in 1999. He loved the Redskins, fishing and heavy-metal music.

Sharrett attended Northern Virginia Community College and worked various jobs after high school, including bartending in St. Croix.

He entered boot camp in August 2006 and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell, Ky.

"He was well trained, and he was a leader," his father said. Sharrett was a private first class, but "he said they were going to make him a sergeant at the earliest opportunity."

After Sharrett was deployed to Iraq in September, the father and son e-mailed or instant-messaged each other nearly every day when the younger Sharrett wasn't on an operation. "His last e-mail, he said, 'I'll be back,' " his father said. "I'd say, 'Take care and be safe.' "

Sharrett's tour of duty was scheduled to end in October 2009, his father said. He planned to return to Northern Virginia, earn a degree and possibly become a history teacher. His father teaches English at Chantilly High School.

"If you could put together the kind of person you wanted defending your country, this is the guy," his father said. "He's the toughest guy I ever knew."

Details of his death were not available yesterday. The Army said in a news release he was wounded in Balad, Iraq, about 50 miles north of Baghdad in the so-called Sunni Triangle, and died in Pallouata, Iraq.

Also killed in the attack were Pfc. Danny L. Kimme, 27, of Fisher, Ill., and Spc. John P. Sigsbee, 21, of Waterville, N.Y.

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