East Hartford hero, father dies fighting in Iraq

A Bridgeport boy mourned the loss Friday of his soldier father, who was killed in Iraq this week.

Eleven-year-old Michael Patrick and his mother Alicia Patrick held a care package they never got to send as they spoke of 40-year-old Army Sergeant Richard Ford, of East Hartford. Michael says his father was his hero and friend, and fondly remembers rooting for the Red Sox together and playing basketball in the backyard. Alicia says her longtime companion had a warm personality and big heart.

Ford, a paratrooper, earned a Medal of Honor, Bronze Star and Purple Heart before dying of wounds from small arms fire near Baghdad Tuesday. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, but specific arrangements have not been finalized.

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