Army SPC
Waterford, MI
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Memorial Location: 

Pontiac-Waterford Elks Lodge #810
2100 Scott Lake Road
Waterford, MI

Killed when an improvised explosive device exploded near the Humvee he was riding in during combat operations in Baghdad, Iraq

Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Ft Campbell, KY.

Andrew Waits was born October 22, 1982 to Fred and Diane Waits of Waterford, Michigan. He came home to big sister Catherine (1978) and was joined five years later by little sister Laura (1987) . As a child, Andrew enjoyed being a member of the Cub Scouts. He especially enjoyed building derby cars with his dad and racing them. His collection of cars still sits on his dresser at home. He was a member of the Waterford Coaches Association Baseball Club. He was an awesome third baseman and he also did a little pitching. He enjoyed skateboarding the most. The neighborhood boys would build huge ramps in the street and practice for hours on end. He even took his skateboard to Fort Campbell, KY, where he was stationed. It was returned with his personal belongings and now sits under his dresser at home. Andrew also enjoyed jumping his bike over homemade ramps and had his share of broken bones growing up. When other kids could not come out and play because they had work to do, he would help them with their work so that they cold all go out and have a good time swimming, biking, or skateboarding. That was the kind of boy he was and as he grew older his kind heart and loving personality became more and more evident. // After the World Trade Center was attacked on 9/11, he felt it was his duty to defend America. Andrew joined the Army in October 2003, after the Iraqi War had started. His basic training was at Fort Benning, GA, and he graduated at the top of his class as an Expert Marksman. In February, 2004, he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky. While there, Andrew was often able to take leave to visit his home and family, often bringing fellow soldiers with him. The family enjoyed getting to know these young soldiers, many of who still maintain contact with the family. The Army had a very remarkable influence on Andrew, he was becoming a responsible leader that people could look up to. // In September 2005, Andrew and the 101st Airborne Division were deployed to Iraq. Their area of responsibility was the region known as the “Triangle of Death”, 20 miles south west of Baghdad, and the town of Muhmudiyah. He had just recently returned from a two week leave visiting his family when on April 13th, 2006, Specialist Andrew K. Waits, was killed when his Humvee was struck by an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations. // At the request of Andrew’s fellow soldiers, the last line on his military marker reads: “BEST .50 CAL GUNNER EVER”. Andrew had planned on attending college after his enlistment was up in December of 2006, and becoming an Oakland County Deputy Sheriff. At Andre’s funeral on April 22, 2006, he was posthumously awarded that honor by Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. //
SPC Andrew K. Waits’ awards and decorations include: The Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the combat Infantryman’s Badge and Parachute (Jump) wings.


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