Sgt. Travis D. Pfister

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Marine Sergeant Travis Dwight Pfister, 27, died Feb. 7, 2000, when his CH-46 Sea Knight Helicopter was shot down near Baghdad, Iraq, while ferrying medical supplies to wounded military personnel.

A memorial service is scheduled at 1 p.m. on Sunday at TRAC in Pasco. Funeral services were held Feb. 17 in Hemet, Calif.

He was born July 22, 1979, the younger son of Richard and Lorrie Pfister of Pasco.

Travis' maternal grandparents, Daryl and Corene Hulse and their children were the first to homestead in Block 17 of the South Columbia Basin Irrigation Development, closely followed by the Pfisters. His parents were farmers, working with both the Pfister family and with the Hulses.

Travis lived across the street from the Hulses until his parents divorced when he was three years old. Lorrie moved to Pasco with her two sons and lived there until marrying Bob Carroll in 1985 and moving to Richland.

Travis spent his weekdays in class in the Richland School District, but weekends were spent in the dirt on his grandparents' farm. Lorrie and Bob divorced in 1995 but the extended family remained close.

Travis and his older brother, Josh, were active kids, not so much interested in academics as sports. Travis liked to wrestle, loved the hard hits from football, and truth to be known, never backed down from a fist fight. He was a tough kid, and grew to be a tough man. All too often his mother doctored serious scrapes and bruises when he lost fights, having taken on too many opponents.

He graduated from Hanford High School in 1997 and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on March 24, 1998. Travis was promoted to Private First Class on June 19, 1998, to Lance Corporal on Oct. 1, 1999, and to Sergeant on June 1, 2001. Sgt. 'Lunchbox' Pfister had five Expert Rifle Qualifications and four Expert Pistol Qualifications.

His awards included two Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, two Air Medal-Strike/Flight, a Navy and Marine Achievement Medal, an Iraq Campaign Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, a Presidential Unit CitationNavy, a Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, two Certificates of Appreciation and two Certificates of Commendation. His final award was the Purple Heart.

He is survived by his wife, Jessica Pfister, also a Marine sergeant, of Hemet, Calif. Other survivors include mother and step-father Lorrie and Loron Tallett of Kennewick; father and step-mother Richard and Jackie Pfister of Richland; brother and sister-in-law Joshua and Michelle Pfister of Kennewick, sister Monique Hulse of Denver, Colo., step-sisters April Tallett of Escondido, Calif., and Jennifer Goodrich of Portland, Ore., step-brothers Brandon Tallett of Denver, Cameron Carrol of Spokane, Casey Carrol of Madras, Ore., and brother-in-law Lenny Zepp of Eaton, Ohio.

He is also survived by his grandmothers, Corene Hulse of Pasco and Jane Pfister of Phoenix, Ariz., and father and mother-in-law, William and Karen Zepp of Lebanon, Ohio, plus numerous greatuncles and uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

We will miss him with deep tenderness, but the pride we take in him will inspire each of us, forever. He was, and will remain, our own American Hero.
Published in Tri-City Herald on Mar. 2, 2007
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