Solanco High School’s flag is now flying at half-staff, in memory of a hero who once walked through the school’s halls.
The Quarryville, Lancaster County community is stunned by the news that Army Staff Sgt. Patrick Quinn, a 2005 graduate, died while in Afghanistan.
Insurgents attacked his base in Paktika province on Sunday.
“You’re always taken aback when a young person dies like that,” said Stephanie Lininger, Solanco High’s assistant principal. “A lot of us still remember Patrick as a junior walking around the high school. You fail to realize that he grew up to be a strong man.”
As a student at Solanco High, Quinn was involved in a lot of activities. But he spent all four years running track.
“He was very involved with track, as well as cross-country. That tended to be his passion,” Lininger said. “He was kind-of a Renaissance man, involved in everything.”
For those who knew Quinn as a teen, it wasn’t at all surprising that he was a highly decorated soldier. He rose through the ranks of the Army’s elite Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets.
Quinn was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star and the Nato Medal.
“He was very bright here at Solanco, stood out among that, as a member of our honor society. Did a fantastic job here academically, so we expected great things from him,” Lininger said.
Staff Sgt. Quinn leaves behind a wife and three sons. He is the second soldier from Central Pennsylvania killed in Afghanistan this month. Sgt. Patrick Hawkins, an Army Ranger from Carlisle, died on October 6th.