Memorial trail for fallen soldier
It has been 10 years since Patrick Wade was killed in action in Iraq.
Wade was born Aug. 13, 1968 in Appleton. He graduated in 1987 from Little Wolf High School, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy right after graduation.
He trained and graduated as an EOD Assistant from Navel School of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment Elgin Air Force Base, Fla. Wade had many assignments; he became a qualified Marine Mammal operator training dolphins for the Mark 6 Marine Mammal program, and he completed a western Pacific deployment onboard the USS Carl Vinson.
He was promoted to Petty Officer First Class and transferred to EOD Mobile Unit Eight Detachment in Rota, Spain.
After completing his first successful overseas tour, Wade transferred to EOD Mobile Unit Three located in Coronado, California.
Wade excelled at EOD Mobile Unit Three serving on both Mine Countermeasures and Amphibious Ready group detachments. He completed multiple exercises, another Western Pacific deployment onboard the USS Boxer, qualified as Master EOD Technician and served as the leading Petty Officer for Detachment Five and the Readiness and Training Department.
Wade met his wife, Keri who was also in the Navy, and they married April 19, 2003 at the Admiral Kidd Club in San Diego.
Upon completion of his tour Wade accepted overseas orders back to the EOD Detachment at Rota, Spain.
While stationed in Spain, he and Keri welcomed their two daughters; Noelle (in 2004) and Esme (in 2006).
Wade performed duties as diving Supervisor, Demolitions Operations Supervisor and as the command’s Administrative Officer. He participated in multinational exercises, mentored sailors in Rota, and traveled to Naval Service Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois, to screen and prepare more than 90 perspective students for EOD/SEAL/Diver/Special Warfare Combatant crewman schools.
He reported to onboard EOD Mobile Unit Eleven on Dec. 1, 2006 and immediately took charge of Detachment 13.
His team deployed to Iraq on May 3, 2007 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Patrick L. Wade was killed in action on July 17, 2007 during combat operations.
Classmates from his memorial service in 2007 remembered his love of fishing and times on Bear Lake, a man they say was notorious for his harmless mischief and making people laugh.
Wade lived life to the absolute fullest, indulging in many activities such as hunting, fishing, traveling, collecting, and staying physically fit. Many remember how he looked forward to being a dad and loved every minute of it.
Wade is survived by his wife Keri, their two daughters, his mother Shirley, brothers Gary and Scott, and sister Cheryl.
Patrick’s wife and their daughters still reside in Oak Harbor, Washington.
Keri stays extremely busy with the girls, attending many dedications, memorials, and other conferences that are for Gold Star families. Most recently she and the girls attended an EOD Memorial Weekend in Florida. It was a weekend dedicated to honoring and remembering the many EOD lives of our military’s fallen EOD warriors.
She received a special gift.
“Sometimes lost treasures will make their way back to you. This was Patrick’s mission log book, it was in his pocket when he died. It did not come home with the rest of his stuff because some of the information could have been classified. Enough time has passed that it was able to resurface and make its way to us,” Keri wrote.
It is a treasure. I don’t know what most of the words mean, but seeing his lists and the little check off boxes next to each item means the world to me. I don’t often write about how much I miss him in my posts on social media, but I do, so much so that it can be crushing at times. Please don’t be afraid to ask me questions about him or my experiences.
“Please don’t be afraid of my tears or the reality of my emotions, you didn’t cause it, instead you just give me the chance to be real and honest about a huge part of my life. I admit I am afraid to make people uncomfortable too. Let’s start meeting in the middle, one of the things I have learned from this process is that awkwardness can pass especially when people are sincerely trying to make a human connection,” she wrote.
Since his passing, the Patrick L. Wade Memorial Trail has been created in his honor along the Little Wolf River Trail in the Manawa area.
The EOD Warrior Foundation serves the EOD community by providing assistance and support to active-duty and veteran wounded, injured or ill EOD warriors, families of our wounded and fallen EOD warriors and by maintaining the EOD Memorial in Florida.
At noon Monday, July 17 at the Patrick L. Wade Memorial Trail in Manawa, family, friends and fellow EOD will gather to do Push Ups 4 Wade to raise money for the EOD Warrior Foundation.
All are welcome to come participate, support and learn more about the Foundation and Pat Wade. Refreshments will be available, as well as T-shirts to help with raising funds for this cause.
Those unable to attend in person, but who would like to contribute may go to eodwarriorfoundation.org and search under the events page. Visit the Push Ups 4 Wade Facebook event page for more details or call 608-728-4331.