Mourning a Fallen Soldier

Photo Credit to Alison Duke

Flintridge Preparatory School is mourning one of their own as word came of the death of Scott Studenmund who was among the five military personnel killed during a U.S. military engagement on Monday while serving in Afghanistan.

“Five American troops were killed yesterday during a security operation in southern Afghanistan. Investigators are looking into the likelihood that friendly fire was the cause. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these fallen,” according to Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby in a statement released on Tuesday.

Scott, a 2008 Flintridge Prep graduate, was 24 years old.

Below is a statement that was released by the school.

Scott was a beloved member of his class, an athlete and a scholar and is being mourned by the entire Flintridge Preparatory School community. He was a brave, virtuous patriot.

Headmaster Peter Bachmann said, “When I think about Scott’s service, I think of the Founding Fathers – a virtuous man must be prepared to risk his life, fortune and sacred honor for his country. This sentiment guided Scott. Please hold him fast in your memories, and hold his parents, Woody and Jaynie, and his sister, Connell, in your hearts.”

Scott was born June 26, 1989, at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. He graduated in 2008 from Flintridge Preparatory School, where he was an All-Area and All-League football star, a standout quarter-miler and an excellent student. He loved history and reading, and he was beloved by his classmates and teachers. His smile could light up a room.

Coach and history teacher Ingrid Herskind met Scott as an eighth grader who was interested in running cross country. She said, “He wasn’t a typical cross country runner because he was solid and strong, not lanky and tall. He was fierce on the hills and always had a huge sprinter’s kick in every race’s finish. Scott also sprinted for us on the track team. Again, he was tenacious and strong and a great leader for the younger runners. Even though he joined the football team in his junior year, Scott always told me that he would often think back on running Old Mammoth when he needed to remember how to be tough. I’m sure he was a fine leader for his troop mates and served them with all of his humor and support.

Scott was also a fine history student. I had the pleasure of teaching him in his junior and senior years at Prep. He loved military history and a great debate. He will be missed dearly – a fine and courageous young man who I was proud to know and work with.”
Football coach and science teacher Glen Beattie remembered Scott as “an undersized defensive football player,” adding, “He made our defense go. He was aggressive, quick and wouldn’t let anyone block him or dominate him. He would fight through anything and would not let himself be defeated.”

Beattie remembered Scott’s great grin and sense of humor. He also said that Scott was focused. “He would see his objective and do it. This single-mindedness made him a really good football player, and it also reflected Scott’s personality in other facets of his life.”

Scott went on to play football for Pitzer College for a year before deciding to take a leave from college to pursue his life’s dream of becoming a Special Forces Green Beret soldier. He spent two years in training, including six months of foreign language, during which he learned to speak Arabic. In his class of 38, Scott was one of three to complete the program and earn the Green Beret title. In 2013, Scott completed one of the most difficult military trainings, a seven-week combat dive school at Key West.

A sniper based in Clarksville, Tennessee, Scott was deployed to Afghanistan in January of 2014, set to return home in August. He was always enthusiastic about his combat assignments and felt it a true honor to serve his country. After a successful routing of the Taliban over a long mission, Scott was killed Monday.

Scott’s family (his father, Woody,  chair of the Economics Department at Occidental College, his mother, Jaynie, a business executive, his sister, Connell, is a sophomore at Dartmouth College, and a half- brother who lives in Seattle), are devastated by their loss.

Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard has requested that flags in the city be flown at half mast until Tuesday, June 17, to honor Scott.