Congress being asked to name Cedar Rapids post office for soldier killed in Afghanistan

Pasker killed just days before tour of duty slated to end

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DES MOINES — Members of Iowa’s congressional delegation are seeking to name the Cedar Rapids Post Office for a carpenter who was killed while serving with the Iowa Army National Guard in Afghanistan.

First District Rep. Rod Blum has introduced legislation to name the downtown post office for Sgt. 1st Class Terryl L. Pasker, who was killed July 9, 2011, just days before his combat tour was scheduled to end. Reps. Dave Loebsack, David Young and Steve King are co-sponsors.

Pasker, who had a contracting business in Cedar Rapids, enlisted in the Army in 1990 and joined the National Guard in 1995. He was first deployed to Afghanistan from 2004-05 and chose to return in 2011 with the 334th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division.

Pasker, who was 39 at the time, was going through a routine security checkpoint in an armored vehicle when an Afghan National Directorate security officer inexplicably attacked with small-arms fire, to Col. Greg Hapgood of the Iowa National Guard said at the time. Pasker and an American civilian law enforcement contractor who was with him in the vehicle were killed.

Pasker was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

“I introduced this legislation because of the respect and admiration I have for the sacrifice of Sgt. 1st Class Pasker, and all of the men and women who serve our nation in the armed forces,” said Blum, a Dubuque Republican. “It takes a tremendous amount of courage to put your life on the line to protect our freedom and liberty, and Sgt. 1st Class Pasker did so without reservation.”

An Anamosa native, Pasker lived in Cedar Rapids with his wife of five years, Erica, and was active in his church, New Life Pentecostal Church in Cedar Rapids, according to Blum’s office.

The bill has been approved by the Oversight & Government Reform Committee and now is awaiting full floor consideration. If approved by the House, it will go the Senate.

Pasker’s father, David Pasker, expressed gratitude for the bill.

“Naming this post office after Terryl ensures that his sacrifice will not be forgotten,” he said.

For a post office to be named, the person being honored has to be deceased, the facility must be owned by U.S. Postal Service and not already be named.

In addition to his wife, Pasker is survived by his parents, Mary and David Pasker of Blairstown; a brother, Andrew, of Lisbon; and two sisters, Christine Ross of Oakland, Tenn., and Rebecca Southard of Salem, Ore.

Corrected: An earlier version of this story misidentified Pasker’s church.

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