Cheektowaga Native Killed in Iraq
Created: 8/6/2005 11:00:22 AM
Sergeant First Class Robert V. Derenda, a member of the 98th Division and native of Cheektowaga, was killed Friday while on a convoy from Rubi'Ah to Al Kaskik, Iraq.
Officials from the 98th Division, based out of Rochester, say Sgt. 1st Class Derenda was driving an Up-armored, high mobility, multipurpose-wheeled vehicle (HMMWV) on a convoy when a civilian fuel truck pulled out in front of the vehicle causing the vehicle to explode and roll over.
Sgt. 1st Class Derenda was a member of the Military Transition Team. They help train Iraqi security forces.
A graduate of the University at Buffalo, Sgt. 1st Class Derenda served on active duty in the Army from 1986-1991. He left active duty and joined the Army Reserve. He served with the 98th Division based out of Buffalo as drill sergeant before joining the 100th Division in Kentucky. He transferred back to the 98th Division based out of Rochester last year.
Sgt. 1st Class Derenda is survived by his parents and a sister. He was 42-years-old.
I wonder if it was an accident or intentional on the part of the fuel truck
Sgt. 1st Class Robert V. Derenda, Class of 85, died Aug. 5 when a civilian fuel tanker ran into the vehicle he was driving in Iraq.
A native of Cheektowaga, N.Y., Derenda, 42, attended The Citadel from August 1981 to December 1984. He majored in education and was a member of Bravo Company. Derenda went on to graduate from the University of Buffalo with a degree in chemical engineering. He was working as a chemical engineer in Paducah, Ky. before going to Iraq, according to his hometown newspaper the Buffalo News.
A drill sergeant, Derenda was assigned to the U.S. Army Reserve's 1st Brigade, 98th Division, Rochester, N.Y. He was stationed at a base in Al Kasik in northwestern Iraq and trained recruits for Iraq's military.
Funeral services will be Saturday, Aug. 13 in Cheektowaga, N.Y. Barron-Miller Funeral Home is in charge. Visitation is Friday, Aug. 12 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to T.A.P.S., Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, 1621 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20009; www.taps.org.