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- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Spc. Uday Singh
Died December 1, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
21, of Lake Forest, Ill.; assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 34th Armored Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, based in Fort Riley, Kan.; killed Dec. 1 when enemy forces attacked his patrol in Habbaniyah, Iraq.
Soldier killed in Iraq was pursuing U.S. citizenship
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — A soldier from the Chicago suburb of Lake Forest was killed in Iraq when his unit was attacked while on patrol, the Department of Defense announced Dec. 2.
Army Spc. Uday Singh, 21, died Dec. 1 after an attack in Habbaniyah, Iraq, military officials said. He was assigned to Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 34th Armored Regiment, 1st Infantry Division of Fort Riley, Kan.
“His father told us he was on patrol when he was shot and died on the way to the hospital,” said Singh’s uncle, Prem Jay Datt, of Lake Forest. He said the Indian-born Singh’s parents live in Chandigarh, India, a town near New Delhi.
“We got a call from his dad at 7 a.m. in the morning [Dec. 2],” Datt said. “My wife goes for her walk at 6 a.m. this morning, and the moment she came back, the phone rang. She picked it up, and she knew right away it was the worst.”
Singh moved to Lake Forest in the summer of 1998 to live with his uncle and aunt and planned to enroll in high school, Datt said. But he said his nephew changed his mind and returned home to finish high school before returning to the United States, where he enlisted in the Army in 2000.
Singh came from a military family, his uncle said. He said the soldier’s father served in the Indian army and his grandfather served in the British military when India was still under British rule.
“He planned to save up enough money and go to college,” Datt said. “He wanted to get a degree and do well in life.”
In the meantime, Singh was pursuing his U.S. citizenship. In fact, the Datts received a letter from Singh on Nov. 29 saying that he planned to return to the U.S. to be sworn in as a citizen in January.
“Then three days later, we get a call from his father,” Datt said. “We could not believe it. ... Twenty-one years old and he’s gone forever.”