Died Dec. 3 in southern Afghanistan of wounds caused by an improvised explosive device.
Sgt. 1st Class Darren Linde of Devils Lake was a full-time instructor at the Camp Grafton Training Center. Fellow instructor 1st Sgt. Kurt Schwind tells the Grand Forks Herald that Linde earned the nicknames "Grandpa" and "Papa Bear" and was proud of the terms of endearment.
Linde's widow, Adrienne Linde, said in a recent statement that she and their four children, Celina, Kayla, Alexis and Eric, "are all devastated by the loss of such an incredible husband and father."
"Though saddened and shocked, we are thankful to have wonderful memories and funny stories that will last a lifetime," she said. "I have always been Darren's number one cheerleader and I am enormously proud of him for his sacrifice and service to our nation. Darren gave his life so that others could pass through safely."
Linde originally enlisted in the North Dakota Guard in 1990. He served in the U.S. Army and Montana Army National Guard before returning to the North Dakota Guard in 2006. He deployed to Iraq with the Guard's 164th Engineer Battalion from August 2007 to April 2008. Since 2009, he served as a full-time instructor with the Guard's 164th Regional Training Institute at the Camp Grafton Training Center near Devils Lake.
Compiled from Associate Press reports. Retrieved 10/01/2013 from "Honor the Fallen", http://projects.militarytimes.com/valor/