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Army Sgt. 1st Class James D. Doster

Died September 29, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


37, of Pine Bluff, Ark.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; died Sept. 29 in Baghdad of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive devise and small-arms fire.

White Hall graduate killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

WHITE HALL, Ark. — An Army sergeant from Pine Bluff died Sept. 29 in a roadside bombing and gunfight in Baghdad, the Defense Department said Oct. 1.

Sgt. 1st Class James D. Doster, 37, served as a convoy leader in Iraq, his mother, Billie Doster, said Oct. 1.

Doster, a White Hall High School graduate, is survived by his wife, Amanda, and two young daughters, Kathryn, 6 and Grace, 3, who live at Wamego, Kan.

“Kathryn was counting down the days until he was supposed to be home,” Doster’s mother said. “She doesn’t really understand. All she says is, ‘It’s not fair.’ They had so many plans for when he came home.”

Doster served in the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kan., before the unit was deployed to Iraq.

Doster left for Iraq in February. He had joined the Army 17 years ago during his second year at Hendrix College and served mostly as a recruiter, Billie Doster said. Doster served in the Gulf War and was in one of the first tanks on the battlefield in that conflict, she said.

“It’s so easy to read ‘an American soldier was killed’ in the papers. You don’t really make the connection,” Billie Doster said, quietly weeping. “When it’s your own, you find it a lot harder.

“His wife is devastated, but is clinging to the knowledge that ... he died doing something he believed in.”

Doster is the 53rd Arkansas soldier to be killed in the Iraq war.

Doster’s mother said Pentagon officials told her it will be at least a week before his body is released to his family. A full military funeral is being planned for Lakeside United Methodist Church in Pine Bluff.


Mourners remember White Hall soldier killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — Mourners remembered a fallen White Hall soldier Oct. 11 as a lively, funny and resourceful teenager who grew up to be a brave military man.

Funeral services were held for Sgt. 1st Class James D. Doster, 37, who was killed in Iraq last month. He is survived by his wife, Amanda, and daughters Grace and Kathryn.

“Amanda was the light of his life and there was nothing he wouldn’t do for his girls,” said the Rev. Dan Barber, a pastor and friend of Doster’s. “Still, he loved the Army. He was going to serve, he was going to love and he was going to die with honor.

“He did not regret getting shipped out, nor would he regret how he came home.”

Gov. Mike Beebe and Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., attended the service, which was held at the Lakeside United Methodist Church in Pine Bluff.

Doster died in a roadside bombing and gunfight Sept. 29 in Baghdad, his family said. He had joined the Army 17 years ago during his second year at Hendrix College, and served mostly as a recruiter. Doster served in the Gulf War and was in one of the first tanks on the battlefield in that conflict, his family said.

“The seeds he planted will bloom for centuries to come,” said the Rev. Jim Brooks, senior pastor at Lakeside United Methodist Church. “He died with honor. He died with grace.”

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