Specialist Mollie Mahowald survived tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan as a member of the Minnesota Army National Guard.
But her 24 years were cut short when she was fatally struck by a motorcyclist in Elko New Market over the weekend.
Police in the Scott County town say the victim was declared dead at the scene of the crash on the 9700 block of Main Street in Elko New Market a little before 2:30 a.m. Sunday. A suspect was later arrested and is in the Scott County jail awaiting charges, police say.
The Elko New Market Chamber of Commerce identified the victim in a Facebook post as Mahowald and said she was standing on a roadside with friends when she was struck by a motorcyclist who fled.
Family members tell WCCO Mahowald, of Lakeville, was visiting friends in Elko New Market and had called her younger sister for a ride home but the motorcycle came by first.
The 33-year-old suspect being held on suspicion of criminal vehicular homicide has a long criminal record, the Star Tribune reports, including speeding, burglary, theft, domestic abuse, and terroristic threats. The paper says the man was also driving after his license had been revoked.
The Patriot Guard Riders say they've been asked by the family to stand a flag line at Mahowald's visitation in Lakeville Thursday, funeral service in Elko New Market Friday, and burial at Fort Snelling National Cemetery on Friday.
Their post says Spc. Mahowald was a vehicle mechanic who was deployed twice to Iraq and Afghanistan. She was with the Army National Guard's 1135th Combat Support Company based in Faribault.