KIA November 6, 2006
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 John Priestner died November 6, 2006 of injuries sustained when he was piloting an AH-64D Apache helicopter during a night flight and crashed in Balad, Iraq. Also killed was WO2 Miles P. Henderson.
John grew up in LeRaysville, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Northeast Bradford High School in 1982. John enlisted into the United States Air Force, where he served his country for two years. Upon an honorable discharge from the Air Force, he entered into the Army. His wife, Theresa Priestner, said, “John had an awesome sense of humor. Very intense, dedicated. He was everything a hero would be.” She said that her husband referred to her and their two daughters, Breanne and Megan, as ‘Team Priestner’, and used the phrase when he last saw them in the summer of 2006. He is also survived by his mother, Linnea; father, Richard; sister, Sue; and twin brother, Roger.
John believed in his mission in Iraq. He served in Afghanistan from November 2002 to August 2003, and was a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. He had deployed to Iraq in July of 2006. “He believed what he did was the absolute right thing for that country,” Theresa said. “Any Army wife will tell you we’re damn proud of our men. They’re heroes. They believe in what they’re doing. We believe in what they’re doing.”
WO4 John Priestner was 42 years old from Pike Township, Pennsylvania
Original portrait was presented to his wife and daughters May 20, 2011, during the Armed Forces Day Banquet held by America Supports You-Texas in Amarillo, Texas.
Sponsored for family by:
Portrait sponsored for the family by Mike Gerken of Picayune, Mississippi