CW2 Harriman Services

  3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne)  
Friday,  08 March  2002

Chief Warrant Officer Stanley L. Harriman, 34, of Wade, was killed Saturday by mortar fire during an assault on Taliban and al-Qaida fighters hiding in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan.

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The Army's Special Forces soldiers closed ranks Friday as more than 600 people attended the funeral of the first serviceman killed in the fiercest battle of the war in Afghanistan.

Harriman's casket, covered with an American flag, sat at the front of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Chapel, a sanctuary here for Special Forces troops that also was where Harriman was married. 

On a table behind the casket included Harriman's polished jump boots; an inverted M-4 carbine with a green beret on the butt of the carbine and his dog tags hanging from the trigger guard; a photo of Harriman; and plaques of two awards he got during his Special Forces career.

A member of the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, Harriman was the first casualty in the operation codenamed Anaconda. He was assistant commander of his 12-man team.

A member of Harriman's unit sat in the chapel's front row, heavy bandages wrapping his left arm and a cane in the other hand. He, too, was wounded in the battle, but declined to be interviewed, said Sgt. Brian Sutton, a Special Operations Command spokesman.

"Stan, the fight goes on. You will be missed. But rest easy my friend, we will pick up the fight from here. You will not be forgotten," said Major Jim Burnside, executive officer of 3rd Special Forces Group.

"Stan represented the best in all of us. He was that which others did not want to be. He went where others did not want to go."

Capt. Matthew McHale, the commander of Harriman's detachment, said he got to know Harriman well over the past eight months, part of that time living with him in a tent in Afghanistan.

"Stanley Harriman is a hero who absolutely deserves his title," McHale said as his voice broke with emotion. "In combat, under fire, he made sound judgments, exercised leadership and without regard for his own safety he did the right things."

As McHale spoke, soldiers in another unit chanted a marching cadence as they trained about a block away.

The hourlong tribute concluded with the commander of the Army's Special Forces units at Fort Bragg, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Lambert, presenting the folded flag to Harriman's widow, Sheila.

Seven soldiers clad in pressed dress uniforms and green berets each fired off three synchonized rounds for a 21-gun salute. A bugler played the military farewell "Taps." A recording of "The Ballad of the Green Berets," the Vietnam-era tribute to the elite soldiers.

Harriman was postumously awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart, presented to his father, Buzz Harriman, a retired Army major.

Harriman had spent 16 years -- his entire adult life -- in the Army. The native of Nixa, Mo., enlisted at age 18 and was stationed 13 years at Fort Bragg.

"He was so excited about being a part of it," Sheila Harriman said soon after being notified of his death. "He loved not just being a soldier, but his country."

Relatives said Harriman never told them details of his job, just that he loved what he did. His twin brother, Steve, was in the military, and they followed their father into Army service.

"I can't measure it in words how proud I am, how proud our country should be," his older brother, Shawn, said after the service. "Everybody should be proud not only of what Stan did but what our soldiers are doing today."

A second funeral for Harriman was scheduled for Friday afternoon at Arran Lake Baptist Church in Fayetteville

**Information from, The Department of Defense Charlotte Observer and The Associated Press used in this Article.

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