PFC Ervin Dervishi

Company B 1-22 Infantry

4th Infantry Division (Mechanized)

KIA January 24, 2004




Ervin Dervishi: Albanian migrant 'died a hero' in Iraq

An immigration lottery at the American Embassy in Albania brought the Dervishi family to North Texas in April 1999.

Three years later, Ervin Dervishi, the family’s oldest son, joined the U.S. Army to follow his dream as a peacekeeper.

Pfc. Dervishi, 22, died during a combat patrol Saturday in Baji, Iraq, when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the Bradley fighting vehicle
in which he was traveling. He was evacuated to the 28th Combat Support Hospital, where he died.

“He came here a boy. He left here a man. And he died a hero,” said his brother Samir, 19.

Born in 1981, he grew up in the capital city of Tirana in Albania. The country was under communist rule until 1992, when the
Democratic Party won the election. The family left in 1999, as the country was heavily involved with ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
Kim Beebe, who taught in Albania for a year, has been the family’s sponsor and legal guardian since they arrived.

The Dervishis initially settled in Waxahachie, where Ms. Beebe lives. The boys did not start school until the fall.
Placement tests put Pfc. Dervishi, then 17, in the 10th grade at Waxahachie High School. He joined the soccer team
and was named most valuable player in 2000 and 2001. He and his brother were active in the Waxahachie Police Department’s
Explorers Program.

“He didn’t just want to be a citizen,” Ms. Beebe said. “He wanted to be part of the society.”

In fall 2001, the family moved to Fort Worth. Pfc. Dervishi attended Western Hills High School, where he graduated in May 2002.
He joined the Army in October 2002.

He went through basic training in Georgia and was stationed out of Fort Hood, where he was assigned to Company B,
1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. Pfc. Dervishi was present for the arrest of Saddam Hussein.

“Life [in Albania] was hard,” Ms. Beebe said. “Both boys had already seen war up close. They had both witnessed
a lot of death and destruction and murder.”

But that only spurred Pfc. Dervishi and his brother in their desire to join the military, go to college and eventually
become police officers, Ms. Beebe said.

“They wanted to do something about the situation,” she said. “Yes, he wanted to be a solider, but the whole ultimate purpose is peace.”

In addition to his brother, Pfc. Dervishi is survived by his parents, Kujtim and Shpresa Dervishi of Fort Worth.
Service arrangements are pending.

By HOLLY WARREN / The Dallas Morning News



Ervin Dervishi




PFC Ervin Dervishi's decorations





Ervin with his mother Shpresa and father Kujtim



GI from Fort Worth dies in Iraq

FORT WORTH - A Fort Hood soldier from Fort Worth killed in Iraq on Saturday was identified Monday as Pfc. Ervin Dervishi, 21.

Pentagon officials said a rocket-propelled grenade hit the Bradley Fighting Vehicle that Dervishi was riding in late Saturday in Baji.

Dervishi, a native of Albania, died after being evacuated to a combat support hospital. The attack is under investigation.

Dervishi's parents spent Monday evening with a military officer, completing paperwork and planning their son's funeral, friends said.

"It's very hard," Gzim Haliti, 17, said. "He was one of the best people you could meet. He wanted to be in the military and then be a police officer."

Dervishi was with Company B, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment. He was present during the capture of Saddam Hussein, friends said.

Dervishi had expected to return home in November, but his deployment was extended until April, Haliti said.

The Dervishis came to the United States in 1999 after winning an immigration lottery, said Kim Beebe, the family's U.S. sponsor.
They lived in Waxahachie for three years before moving to Fort Worth.

Dervishi was a 2002 graduate of Western Hills High School, where he played soccer, friends said.

Survivors include his parents, Kujtim and Shpresa Dervishi; his younger brother, Saimir; and his grandmother, Zenepe Iliaz, Beebe said.

This Report Includes Material From the Associated Press.

Alex Branch, (817) 390-7689





Two views of the grave of PFC Ervin Dervishi


Photos by Ray Beamer from the Find A Grave website


Birth: Jun. 22, 1982
Death: Jan. 24, 2004

After emigrating from Albania to the United States, Ervin Dervishi joined the Army because he thought it would be the best way
to train for a career in law enforcement. Dervishi, his parents and brother came to the United States in 1999 after winning an
immigration lottery, said Kim Beebe, the family's U.S. sponsor. He became a U.S. citizen after he was inducted into the Army.
"He grew up under communism and wanted something better and something different for his life," Beebe said.
"His whole point was to keep peace."Pfc. Dervishi, 21, of Fort Worth, Texas, died Jan. 24, 2004, after attackers in Baji, Iraq,
fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the vehicle in which he was riding. He was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. Saimir Dervishi said
he and his brother always wanted to be soldiers."He left a kid, he became a man and died a hero," Saimir Dervishi said.

Laurel Land Memorial Park
Fort Worth
Tarrant County
Texas, USA

Created by: Cindy
Record added: Dec 16, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 10128351




On January 20, 21 and 22 of 2005,
the 1st Annual Ervin Dervishi Memorial Soccer Tournament
was held in Waxahachie, Texas.
Between the tournament championships , a ceremony was conducted,
honoring the memory of PVT Ervin Dervishi.




Script for Dervishi Ceremony:

Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the Championship Games of the Ervin Dervishi Memorial Soccer Tournament.
We would also like to welcome the following special guests.


4th Infantry Division Color Guard

Ladies and gentlemen please rise, and Gentlemen, please remove your hats
for the presentation of Colors by the Fourth Infantry Division Honor Guard.

(Play National Anthem)


Ladies and gentlemen please take your seats.


We are gathered here to honor the memory of an American warrior, Private First Class Ervin Dervishi.
Ervin, or Vinnie as many called him, moved with his family from Tirana Albania in 1999 to Waxahachie.
He enrolled at Waxahachie High School and joined the soccer team where he was named Most Valuable Player for 2000 and 2001.
He and his brother were members of the Waxahachie Police Explorers.  
The family moved to Fort Worth where he enrolled at Western Hills High School where he graduated in May of 2002.
Too old to play on the team there he was the team’s biggest fan. His love for soccer was immense.
His goal was to join the army and then become a police officer. A great example of living the American dream.  
He enlisted in the US Army in October 2002 and attended basic training
and was assigned to Company “B” First Battalion,   Twenty Second Infantry Regiment of the Fourth Infantry Division in March 2003.
His unit was deployed to Iraq as part of Joint Task Force 160 which was tasked with providing external security for the detainee facilities,
including site security, patrols, observation posts, quick reaction forces, and escorting and transporting detainees.
During a combat patrol at Baji Iraq, on January 24 2004 a rocket propelled grenade hit the patrol’s Bradley fighting vehicle.
He was gravely injured and was evacuated to the 28
th Combat Support Hospital where he later died.

PFC Dervishi is one of the many American Heroes to give his life in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
We know that these sacrifices are for a good and just cause.

PFC Dervishi’s decorations include the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with V for Valor, National Defense Service Medal,
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon,
and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.


Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for a moment of silence to honor this Warrior
and those that have gone before and after in support of the United States efforts democracy and freedom all over the world.

(Pause 1 Minute)

(Play Taps)

Color Guard Retire the Colors


Thank you ladies and gentlemen and honored guests for joining us in this small demonstration of our appreciation for the sacrifices PFC Dervishi and his family have made along with all the   Active Duty and Reserve Service Members and their families.


Congratulations to the winner of the Womens Final


And good luck to the Mens Finalists


The 4th Infantry Division Honor Guard at the ceremony


Coach Venable, Randy Dobbins, and Coach Woodhouse present a shadow box to Irvin's family (mother and brother Sammy)


The shadow box containing Ervin's decorations and awards from the Waxahachie Soccer Team


Center is Ervin's mother and brother
On the left is the Combat Medic who cared for Ervin on the medevac


Members of the team give handshakes and hugs to Ervin's family



The website is grateful to Randy Dobbins for the above information,
and to his efforts in establishing the annual tournament to honor Ervin Dervishi.

TMCS(SW) Randy Dobbins
Senior Enlisted Leader
MIUW 114
Whiteman AFB, MO 

Photographs are copyright Lezley Norris/Triple Xposure, and are used with permission.
For more photos of the tournament, click on the link below:

Triple Xposure Photography








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