N.H. Guardsman killed in Iraq

LANDAFF – A New Hampshire National Guardsman died in Iraq after a car bomb went off near his patrol Friday, authorities said.

Spc. Alan J. Burgess, 24, of Landaff, was on patrol as a vehicle gunner in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul when he was struck by shrapnel around 1:30 p.m. local time, according to a statement released by Gov. Craig Benson on Saturday night. He died at a Mosul field hospital of severe head injuries.

It was the second death of a North Country soldier this week. Army Spc. Jeremy Regnier, 22, of Littleton, was killed when his armored vehicle

drove over a bomb during a patrol outside Baghdad on Wednesday morning.

Burgess was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 197th Field Artillery Forward, which is headquartered in Berlin and has armories in six North Country towns. Burgess joined the National Guard in 2002. He was a member of Detachment 1, B Battery, based in Woodsville.

“He had a love for his family and for his country,” said his mother, Karen Moore. “He was looking forward to coming home and seeing his son.

“He was a good boy, a good father and a wonderful son. His needs were always last – everyone else came first,” his mother said.

“He felt like he shouldn’t have been there, but they were all there because they had to go,” she said.

Burgess, who was unmarried, had a 4-year-old son, said Sgt. 1st Class Mike Daigle, of the New Hampshire Army National Guard. He also was survived by his mother, his father, Edward J. Burgess, two sisters and a brother.

Since March, 180 soldiers from the 2nd Battalion have been conducting security missions in Iraq. Mosul, where Burgess was assigned to Task Force Olympia, is 225 miles north of Baghdad.

Burgess was one of four U.S. troops who died in Iraq on Friday.

“My thoughts and prayers are with Alan’s family during this time of deep sadness,” Benson said. “May they take some comfort in knowing that Alan died in the most honorable way by serving his country and protecting our liberties. His sacrifice for our freedom will never be forgotten.”