Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Cousin Randy Was Killed in Afghanistan on Sunday

Orlando soldier Sgt. Randy M. Haney killed in Afghanistan

Sgt. Randy Haney loved to clown around. His official U.S. Army photo shows Haney, eyes wide, goofing for the camera.But the former Central Florida man also had a serious side. He joined the military when he was 20, married his high-school sweetheart, bought a house for his family and was a devoted father of two young children.

Haney, 27, was on his third tour of duty in the Middle East when his convoy was attacked early Sunday in Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan. Sitting in the back of a Humvee at the rear of the convoy, he was killed instantly when enemy forces with guns and rocket-propelled grenades unleashed the ambush.

His mother, Amanda Macy, said Haney put himself unofficially in charge of bolstering morale in his unit. And when he got a care package from home, the candy went to Afghan children."He was very proud of the fact that he helped people and that he was serving his country," added his mother-in-law, Cindy Alexopoulos of south Orange County. "He cared a lot about the kids and trying to help people who were there."

Born in Bartow, Haney lived in Wauchula and Haines City before moving to south Orange County during high school, his mother said. She last saw her son on Memorial Day weekend, just before he left for Afghanistan. During the visit, the two registered Haney's daughter, Aubry, 5, for kindergarten. "That was special," said Macy, of Troy, Ohio.

Haney met his wife, Katie, in an English class at Cypress Creek High School in early 1999, and the two quickly became best friends, Alexopoulos said. Katie Haney was a cheerleader who was smitten after seeing her future husband run up a wall and flip over."That was Randy," said Alexopoulos, who was with her daughter at the couple's Colorado home Monday night. "He liked to kid around."He had a very good sense of humor."

The Haneys were married at Sheraton Vistana Resort in November 2002, lived in Kissimmee and moved to Alaska when Randy Haney joined the service.After getting his General Educational Development certificate, he was frustrated by a lack of good local jobs and hoped the military would provide stability, his mother said.After tours of duty in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2006 and this year and Iraq from 2007 to 2008, he was ready to return to civilian life, Alexopoulos said. "I think the military helped him with that responsibility and helped him to be a mature person," she said.

Haney was a military police officer with the 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo., when he died.He is one of more than 800 American military personnel killed during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. More than 4,300 have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In March, Haney and his wife bought a town house near Colorado Springs, where Katie Haney is studying to be a nurse. About a week ago, Haney sent her two cards thanking her for taking on all the responsibilities at home, including raising their daughter and son, Austin, who is 18 months old.The couple talked by phone every few days, the last time on Thursday about midnight.

Haney's other love was his car, a souped-up Honda Civic that he repeatedly took apart and reassembled, Alexopoulos said.He also had a passion for tae kwon do, which he had studied along with capoeira, a Brazilian martial art.

Haney had an uncle, Keith Haney of Ohio, who was killed at 20 by a sniper during his last tour of duty in Vietnam in 1970, Macy said.Randy Haney also is survived by several siblings and a grandmother. Melcher-Sowers Funeral Home in Piqua, Ohio, is handling arrangements.Susan Jacobson can be reached at or 407-540-5981.

Copyright © 2009, Orlando Sentinel


downtown guy said...

I'm really sorry to hear that. I'll be thinking about y'all.

May said...

I'm sorry for your loss. And I am loving you.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Thanks for your thoughts, guys. I love you both.


adrienne said...

i am so, so sorry sb. you and your family are in my thoughts as well as my prayers.

afk4life said...

Sorry for your loss :(

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Adrienne and Doug,
Thank you for your kind comments.



Ms. Moon said...

Oh no, Ms. Bastard. Oh no. I am so sorry. I want to rant about war but that wouldn't be appropriate so let me just say that you and your family are in my thoughts, I am going to light a candle for him and for you all.
Love...Ms. Moon

Sarcastic Bastard said...

My Dear Ms. Moon,
Thanks. We'll take all the candles and good thoughts we can get.

Love you,


jrains80 said...

Sorry to here it, SB. I have a cousin serving also...we hold our breath...

Love ya, thoughts are with you, Jenn

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I will keep a good thought for your cousin.

Thank you & love,


Chic Mama said...

I'm sorry for you and your family, he sounded a good, kind man.....

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Thank you, Chic Mama.



miss alaineus said...


i am so sorry for your loss. i dont know what else to say.


Anonymous said...

Oh, no...

I have nothing to offer but my undying support of you, SB, and your family. This makes me feel so sad.

As always,

gingermagnolia said...

Oh dear. I'm so very sorry for your loss, for his parents' loss, his wife's, and especially for his children. Damn. Hugs and peace to you all.