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'My heart hurts because of a loss to the world'

October 14, 2000

'My heart hurts because of a loss to the world'



By LAURA ERNDE and SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writers
Patrick Roy

Patrick Roy, a sailor aboard the USS Cole, is pictured above.

Mother and friend

Patrick's mother, Kathy Brown, speaks outsie her Keedysville home Friday while family friend Michael Walsh listens.

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

Flag at half-staff

Above, a flag flies at half-staff outside the post office in Keedysville, Patrick Roy's hometown.

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer



KEEDYSVILLE - Family members, friends and others who knew Navy Fireman Apprentice Patrick Roy, 19, of Keedysville reacted with sorrow Friday to the news that he was killed in the USS Cole explosion.

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The son of Kathy Brown and Michael Roy is missing and presumed dead following the Thursday explosion, the Navy announced.

Brown read a written statement to the media about her son Friday afternoon.

"I am proud of Pat. He has always lived his life fully, having a clear idea of right and wrong and always standing firm for his beliefs. As much as he is a most gentle individual, he is also a fierce and loyal team player," part of the statement said.

Patrick's father and stepmother, Anne Roy, did not return phone calls Friday.

"My heart hurts because of a loss to the world," said Elliott Haines of Myersville, Md., a close family friend who knew Patrick for nine years. "He was a gifted young man with a concern for small animals and children."

Patrick grew up in Washington County, said his brother, Sean Walsh, 30, of Germantown, Md. Another brother, Kevin Roy, is 14 months younger than Patrick.

Patrick went to Boonsboro area schools through his sophomore year and then transferred to Storm King High School in Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y, a co-educational college preparatory school, Haines said.

"I saw a person who was finally given credit for being the unique person he was," Haines said.

Patrick decided to join the U.S. Navy after high school graduation because he liked boating, Haines said.

He graduated and joined the Navy in 1999.

Headmaster Phil Riley said that decision was based partially on advice from some of his role models at the school who had served in the Navy.

He was a hard-working student at the private school, which has 110 boarding students and 17 day students, Riley said.

"Everybody loved him," Riley said. "He was just a hell of a guy."

His activities included drama, soccer, wrestling and lacrosse. He was the captain of the school's lacrosse team, Riley said. He also did community service work.

School staff members called all students to a meeting Friday afternoon where they broke the news about Patrick.

"They tried to make sense of it all," Riley said. "The beautiful part of the gathering was that people who knew Pat were talking about Pat."

Students went to the flag pole and moved the flag to half-mast, he said.

They had a moment of silence and a second moment for peace in the Middle East, he said.

"We are still in shock," he said.

The school will have a memorial service for Patrick next week

Phil Aversa, Patrick's freshman math teacher at Boonsboro High School, said he saw the sailor earlier this year in his Navy uniform.

"He was looking good. He looked sharp," Aversa said.

Aversa wrote Patrick a recommendation for the prep school.

"When he came back you could see how he matured and he got his act together," Aversa said. "Every time I saw him he just kept growing. He became a young adult. He was a very likable kid."

Patrick used to work at O'Hurley's General Store in Shepherdstown, W.Va., doing everything from chopping wood to sweeping floors, said store owner Jay Hurley.

"It's a bit of a shock to me. He was just a kid that I watched grow up and mature," said Hurley, who didn't know Patrick had joined the Navy.

Hurley met the family years ago when Brown played hammered dulcimer at the store's weekly folk and country music get-together.

The small town of Keedysville was overrun Friday by television crews. Patrick's father and stepmother live near his mother on Main Street.

There were so many cars parked at the Post Office that one of the carriers thought there was a robbery in progress, said postal worker Barbara Franquist.

"It's so sad," she said.

Town residents were shocked to hear the news.

"That's a crying shame. Sorry to hear about it, especially when it hits home like this," said Roland Ingram, 48, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War.

"I don't know them but I feel for his parents," said Sherry Shank, who was cleaning at the Post Office. "That's got to be hard when a parent has to see their child go."

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