Owasso Soldier Killed In Suicide Bomber Attack

Thursday, June 24th 2010, 8:24 am
By: News On 6


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- An Owasso soldier has lost his life in Operation Enduring Freedom, the Department of Defense announced Thursday.

Spc. Andrew R. Looney, 22, died June 21 at Lar Sholtan Village, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered after an insurgent detonated a suicide vest next to a traffic control point.

Looney's parents, Martha and Cleo Looney, live in Owasso.

"They called us on the phone at 12 midnight," Martha said. "We were asleep and the Army personnel said I have some news for you and your husband and you both have to be present and I said we're here.  And I knew what it was."

Richard and Martha Looney were on a 30th wedding anniversary trip to Ireland when they got the call they hoped never to receive. The Looneys flew back home to the States and are now planning the funeral for their youngest son.

"Sometimes he would get in a ruckus with his brother but usually it was his brother that caused the problem," Martha said. "But he knew how to get along with people.  He was very quiet. Rather shy."

Quiet, but focused. Andrew's parents say he loved sports. He played football for Owasso High School.

"He wasn't built big so he had to work all the harder to play," she said. "But they called him Rudy because he had the determination to do whatever he wanted to do and get it done."

Andrew joined the Army immediately after high school.  During his first tour in Iraq Andrew was wounded severely, suffering a traumatic brain injury and losing half of his foot.

"The battles he was under and of course to a dad you go 'Man, I never knew what his circumstances,'" his dad said.

Looney was one of two soldiers who died in the bombing. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

"I'll miss his smile," his mother said.  "I'll miss how he loved to be home. And just spend time with us and to play games with us."

The Looneys say they find comfort in their faith. And they will rely on that faith as they honor their soldier, their son.

The Looneys say Andrew wanted to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. They say they will honor his wishes.

Andrew Looney's awards and decorations include:

Purple Heart;  Army Commendation Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Iraqi Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon; Army Service Ribbon; Combat Infantry Badge  and Weapons Qualification, M4, expert.