‘He loved his kids. He loved his wife.’ Palm Harbor family, friends remember loved one killed in line of duty 12 years ago

Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – More than a dozen family members and friends gathered Monday to honor and remember Army Staff Sergeant Randy Haney at the Safety Harbor Marina Veterans Memorial Park.

Haney was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 6, 2009.

His father-in-law, Andrew Alexopoulos, lives in Palm Harbor and organized the memorial.

“Randy fought for our country and it was not in vain,” said Alexopoulos. “We have not been assaulted by any terrorists for 20 years since we’ve been in Afghanistan. And I think a lot of it is because our soldiers were there.”

His mother-in-law, Cindy Alexopoulos, remembers a young family man who died too soon.

“He was 27 years old. He didn’t get a chance to see his beautiful daughter, who is 17 now, graduating from high school,” she said. “It’s important that we remember those good people that gave the ultimate sacrifice. Randy was the best. He was fun. He loved his kids. He loved his wife.”

Sgt. Haney served three tours overseas. His last tour was in Afghanistan.

Andrew Alexopoulos believes it was a tough decision to pull troops out of the country, but he feels it was necessary.

“There’s never a right time, you know the way it happened,” he said. “But I’m glad that it’s over.”

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