South Mississippi Soldier Killed In Iraq

Clint Ferrin joined the Army right after graduating from Picayune High School in 1991. Now the 31 year old Staff Sergeant is the among the latest group of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.

He and two other paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne died Saturday outside Baghdad when an explosive hit their humvee.

Ferrin grew up in Ogden Utah, but his family moved to Mississippi in 1991. Tanya Carr was his advanced art teacher. His only photo in the 1991 yearbook is with the Art Club.

"I recall he was a very quiet young man, kind of to himself," Carr said.

Assistant School Superintendent Bill Spiers was a guidance counselor at the school when Ferrin was a student. His family also attended church with the family.

"He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Fine young man. He was involved in scouts, his father was a scout leader. And I just remember attending a court of honor where he was made eagle scout," Spiers said.

"[He] always wanted to do military. He had options in his church to either do missionary service or other kinds of service and he choose to do military service."

"Any time it's one of your students no matter who or how it has an impact here on the teachers," Economics Teacher Lucian Roberson said.

"It's very sorrowful to us, even though he was only here a short time. At the same time, we sort of celebrate his life... because he was doing something to help mankind and help the world," Spiers said.

Clint Ferrin's family moved back to Ogden, Utah after he joined the Army.

Ferrin had been deployed to Iraq with the 1st Armored Division and had been stationed there since Jan. 10. Previously he was stationed in North Carolina with the Army's 82nd Airborne Armored Division.

He was a career soldier and had been with the Army for 12 years, which included service in Kosovo, Bosnia and Africa.

"He loved his country, and he really wanted to serve," his father said.

Clint Ferrin's service was an inspiration to his brother John.

"He's been my hero. I joined the National Guard because of him."

Farrin was especially close to his grandfather, a World War II veteran. It was his wish that in the event of his death he be buried next to him.

A memorial service is tentatively scheduled at Fort Bragg, N.C., on Thursday. A burial is planned in Utah once his body is returned. Farrin leaves behind a wife and two children.

by Al Showers