Local fallen soldier remembered

August 26, 2009 6:27:41 PM PDT
A total of 12 US troops have been killed there in the past three days and one of them has roots in Bucks County. His name is Sergeant 1st Class Shawn Suzch.Shawn Suzch came from a broken home, but was fortunate enough at age 16 to end up in the foster care of Rick Pforter ad his family. Later, Suzch joined the army and met his wife while he was stationed in Germany.

Last fall, the couple celebrated the birth of a daughter.

Pforter says his foster son came to think of his men as family and when given the choice of a stateside posting or a third tour in Iraq, Suzch definitively made up his mind.

"In the end, Shawn said my men can't go back without me. I have to go back with them. This is my family," Rick Pforter said.

Suzch was on patrol in Baghdad Monday with his men when a suicide bomber struck killing four.

The 32-year-old Sergeant grew up in Bucks County.

Outside the courthouse are memorial banners with the faces of 16 local soldiers and Marines killed in the line of duty since 9/11.

Deputy Sheriff Oliver Groman is the uncle of one of the young Marines.

"These kids volunteer, they believed in what they did and everybody with them does," Groman said.

Ryan Manion's brother, Travis, was a Marine officer. She sees this growing memorial as a testament of a culture of service that runs deep in Bucks County.

"I know growing up with my brother, he always taught to make a difference and serve this country and that has been instilled a lot of young kids around here," Ryan Manion said.

There are 16 banners at the courthouse, now, and plans are underway for a 17th soon.

Load Comments