Last updated: August 25. 2013 7:15AM - 250 Views

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   ELIDA — On Monday, Army Capt. Dennis Pintor was trying to get people from his hometown to send school supplies to the children in Iraq.    The next day, the 1992 Elida High School graduate was killed in an apparent roadside bombing.    “He was an outstanding individual. He was an excellent soldier and he will be missed,” said Capt. Jay Wisham, who is part of Pintor’s Army unit.    Pintor, who was the company commander of Bravo Company 20th Engineers serving in Baghdad, Iraq, was killed Tuesday. Further details have not been released by the U.S. Department of Defense.    The Associated Press has reported that three American soldiers were killed Tuesday when a roadside bomb exploded near a U.S. convoy in Eastern Baghdad.    Pintor, 31, is the third soldier from the area to be killed in Iraq. Marine Corps scout Christian Daniel Gurtner of Ohio City died in April of 2003 and Staff Sgt. Aaron Todd Reese, also an Elida graduate, died the following December.    Pintor had been in Iraq since March, having previously served as a peacekeeper in Kosovo.    The Lima News received an e-mail from Pintor on Monday, asking that people in Lima donate school supplies to the Iraqi students.    “School here has just begun session and many of the students need supplies,” the letter read. “People from across the U.S. have already donated great amounts of pens, paper, pencils, etc. I tell you it makes a great difference in the kids and my soldiers.”    Wisham was not surprised that Pintor was trying to get help for the children.    “He was just a very good guy all the way around. A good friend,” Wisham said. “He firmly believed in what we were doing over there. All he wanted to do was make things better for whoever’s life he touched.”    Pintor is the son of Alberto (Bert) and Ellen Pintor, formerly of Elida. They retired in May to the Philippines, where Alberto Pintor is from. Pintor has several aunts, uncles and cousins living in Lima, including his uncle, David Garrison Jr.    “In many ways Dennis was just an ordinary person, yet he was much more,” Garrison said Thursday. “Dennis represented and manifested the invincible American spirit.”    Garrison said Pintor had recently talked to family members and also encouraged them to send school supplies to the children in Iraq. He had also been corresponding with a class at Lowell Elementary School, where Garrison’s daughter is a teacher.    Pintor joined the Army after high school so he could earn his own education, Garrison said.    “He wanted the family’s resources to be available for his younger brother and sisters,” he said.    Pintor was later appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he was selected to serve a four-month term as company commander, one of the highest positions in the cadet chain-of-command. He graduated from the academy in 1998. He was trained as an engineer, but also completed Army Ranger School.    “He refused to take the easy way through life. As an officer, he was determined to receive all the tough training,” Garrison said, saying that Pintor had wanted to finish his military career as a professor at West Point. “Unfortunately, America’s future cadets will never have the opportunity to learn what this West Point hero might have taught.”    Pintor met his wife, Stacy, in the Army. They were married in Lima and have a 4-year-old daughter, Rhea. His wife and daughter reside in Killeen, Texas. Garrison called him a good husband and father.    “Dennis was the kind of father that would care for the baby in a restaurant allowing his wife to enjoy her meal before it got cold,” Garrison said.    Pintor was remembered fondly at Elida High School. Guidance Counselor Alan Clum had Pintor in several math classes, including advanced placement calculus. He called Pintor a “really good” math, and all-around student.    “He was a good student with charisma that jumped out at you,” Clum said. “He would bring an energy to class that would help keep the class going.”    Clum called Pintor an inquisitive student, saying he was the kind of student teachers wanted to see in their classrooms.    “He had a knack for being able to answer questions and ask good, appropriate questions,” he said. “He was just a good kid, great to have in class.”    Pintor was on the school’s soccer and tennis teams, and was a member of the yearbook staff.    Pintor’s younger brother, Bob, and two younger sisters, Sara and Diana, also attended Elida.    “They were all good students like Dennis and just good people to have on campus,” Clum said.    John Hullinger, a sports reporter for The Lima News, attended Elida High School with Pintor. He has fun memories of Pintor while the two “sat the bench” while playing freshman and junior varsity basketball. Pintor started what he called the “Red Knees Club” for those who didn’t get a lot of playing time.    “He was the president of the Red Knees Club,” Hullinger said. “He was not one to complain about sitting the bench. He made the most of it and had fun with it.”    Hullinger said happy-golucky described Pintor well.    “You would never meet anyone who would have anything bad to say about him,” Hullinger said, noting he was proud to have known him. “These guys over there are making sacrifices so I can be back here living the life I live. They are on the front lines fighting for our freedom.”    Garrison does not know about funeral arrangements for Pintor, saying he does not know if there will be a local funeral service. He said Pintor’s wife hopes to have him buried at West Point.

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