February 10, 2011
HARROD — A 1997 graduate of Allen East High School has died in combat in Afghanistan, his family confirmed Wednesday.Army Spc. Nathan Carse, 32, died recently in Afghanistan. Details about his death had not been released by the Department of Defense as of late Wednesday, however the family said they were told he had stepped on a bomb.Carse's sister, Kristin Purdy, who is staying with her mother in Harrod while her husband is in the military in Iraq, said her brother left a successful career as an engineer last year to join the Army to fight for his country. “My brother just wanted to fight for our freedom,” she said. He was an engineer in Louisiana working for the government a year ago when he decided to join the Army.“He came home and said, ‘I think I want to take a different route and I'm going to join the military,'” she said.Carse left for basic training and then deployed to Afghanistan four months ago to join a unit already over there. “His deployment would have only been eight months,” she said.Purdy and her family have not been told a lot about Carse's death. An Army chaplain and another member of the Army showed up at her mother's door Tuesday afternoon to deliver the news. The men said her brother died in Afghanistan in the last few days after stepping on an improvised explosive device, also known as a roadside bomb.Purdy said her brother joined the Army at 31 after earning a bachelor's degree in environmental science and later a master's degree in engineering. He had thought about joining for a long time and finally made the decision to enlist, she said. Carse's decision followed in the footsteps of his father, Charles Carse, who was a Green Beret in the U.S. Army, serving in the Special Forces during the Vietnam War.“We come from a long line of military members. My brother wanted to continue in the family tradition,” she said. Carse has two younger sisters and is the son of the late Charles Carse and Janis Carse. He was not married and did not have children, his sister said. Purdy last spoke to her brother a week ago. He called and was interested in how his nephews were doing, she said.“He always asked about his nephews, and he loved them. He has four of them,” she said.They also talked a little about his work but he wasn't allowed to say much.“He did say he had only four missions left and he would be packing up and getting ready to get out of there,” she said. Carse was a starting linebacker for the Allen East football team and once returned a fumble for an 81-yard touchdown that helped his team beat Delphos Jefferson in 1996. He also played catcher on the baseball team. As a child he was active in 4-H and loved to hunt, his sister said.Besides excelling at sports, Carse had a gift to sing and was in show choir, she said.“He was a great dancer and great singer,” she said.After high school, Carse enjoyed karaoke, she said.“‘Friends In Low Places,' that is one song I remember him singing. I think it was at Capital (University), Nathan and one of his friends. His friend grabbed the guitar and they sang ‘Friends In Low Places,'” she said.Purdy also remembered her brother as a man who would help anyone, who would drop whatever he was doing to help a family member or friend.“He was the most amazing man,” she said.