DURHAM, N.H. (AP) – The Navy son of a University of New Hampshire professor and administrative assistant has been killed in action in Iraq.

Navy SEAL Nathan Hardy and fellow SEAL Michael Koch of State College, Pa., died Monday after being wounded by small arms fire, the Defense Department said.

It was Hardy’s fourth deployment in Iraq, according to his father, Stephen Hardy, a professor of kinesiology. His mother, Donna Hardy, is an administrative assistant in UNH’s psychology department.

Nathan Hardy grew up in Durham and was a 1997 graduate of Oyster River High School. He joined the Navy after graduation. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star.

“There are only approximately 2,500 SEALs in the Navy and they really are a brotherhood,” said Naval Special Warfare spokesman Lt. David Luckett. “This is another unfortunate reminder of the risks and sacrifices these amazing warriors and their families make on a daily basis.”

Other family members include Hardy’s wife, Mindy, and their 7-month-old son, Parker; and a brother, Ben, of Middlebury, Vt.

Another brother, Josh, died in 1993 while a senior at Oyster River High School.

“Our hearts go out to Steve and Donna Hardy, and their son, Ben, at this incredibly difficult time,” UNH President Mark Huddleston said in a statement. “We know it was Nate’s dream to become a U.S. Navy SEAL when he graduated from high school, and he pursued that dream and excelled at it. His death has stunned all who knew him, and all who know his parents, who both are so much a part of the UNH community.”

AP-ES-02-05-08 1836EST


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