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Nathan Hardy, Son Of UNH Professor And Staff Person, Dies In Action

February 6, 2008

The UNH community learned Monday that the son of a kinesiology professor and an administrative assistant in the psychology department was killed in action in Iraq.

Nathan Hardy, son of Donna and Steve Hardy, grew up in Durham, and was a 1997 graduate of Oyster River High School. He joined the U.S. Navy after graduation, with the goal to become a Navy SEAL. It was his fourth deployment in Iraq, according to his father. Other family members include a brother, Ben, of Middlebury, Vt. Nate was predeceased by another brother, Josh, who died in 1993 while a senior at Oyster River High School.

Statement from UNH President Mark Huddleston:

“Our hearts go out to Steve and Donna Hardy, and their son, Ben, at this incredibly difficult time. We know it was Nate’s dream to become a U.S. Navy SEAL when he graduated from high school, and he pursued that dream and excelled at it. His death has stunned all who knew him, and all who know his parents, who both are so much a part of the UNH community.”

Barbara Arrington, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, sent an email to the college’s faculty and staff today. It read, in part, “Our heartfelt thoughts go out to both of them and their family at this terrible time.”

According to the U.S. Navy Web site, “the most important trait that distinguishes Navy SEALs from all other military forces is that SEALs are maritime Special Forces, as they strike from and return to the sea. SEALs (Sea, Air, Land) take their name from the elements in and from which they operate. Their stealth and clandestine methods of operation allow them to conduct multiple missions against targets that larger forces cannot approach undetected.”

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