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Army Cpl. Llythaniele Fender

Died June 10, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

21, of Medical Lake, Wash; assigned to 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Fort Lewis, Wash.; died June 10 in Lutifiyah, Iraq, of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Cpl. Meresebang Ngiraked and Spc. Adam G. Herold.

2 Fort Lewis soldiers killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

FORT LEWIS, Wash. — Two Fort Lewis soldiers, including one who attended high school in western Iowa, were among three troops killed in a bombing in Iraq over the weekend.

The dead were identified as Cpl. Llythaniele Fender, 21, a 2004 graduate of West Monona High School in Onawa, Iowa; Cpl. Meresebang Ngiraked, 21, of Koror, Republic of Palau, and Spc. Adam G. Herold, 23, of Omaha, Neb.

The soldiers died on June 10 in Karbala of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device, the Defense Department said.

Fender — who moved to Medical Lake, Wash., after graduating — and Ngiraked were assigned to Battery B of the 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment at Fort Lewis.

Fender enlisted in the Army on Oct. 7, 2004, and completed initial entry training at Fort Sill, Okla.

Ngiraked joined on Sept. 2, 2004, and also completed his training at Fort Sill.

The two were stationed in Korea in March 2005 and were assigned to 5th Battalion, which relocated to Fort Lewis in April 2006.

Their unit left for Iraq in February.

Fender’s mother, Ellen Fender, said her son would not be forgotten.

“He was a wonderful son and brother with a huge heart who served his country with great pride and we send our hearts out to the men and women who have served and are serving this great country, both stateside and overseas,” she said in a statement released by Fort Lewis.

Herold was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment with the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division at Fort Richardson, Alaska.

The three deaths were reported the same day Fort Lewis conducted a memorial service for three soldiers with the post’s 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division who were killed in the past two weeks.

On Monday, the Defense Department identified three other Fort Lewis soldiers who died in Iraq over the weekend: Staff Sgt. Brian M. Long, 32, Burns, Wyo., Pvt. Scott A. Miller, 20, Casper, Wyo., and Sgt. Cory M. Endlich, 23, Massillon, Ohio.

Also killed, on June 2, was Army Sgt. Dariek E. Dehn, 32, of Spangle, a small town south of Spokane. He was assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry division out of Fort Hood, Texas.

More than 200 military service members with ties to Washington state, including 131 from Fort Lewis, have been killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003.

Onawa soldier remembered for kindness, bravery

The Associated Press

ONAWA, Iowa — Cpl. Llythaniele Fender was remembered June 21 as a caring, generous person, willing to help those in need and do anything for his country.

The soldier’s friends and family packed into a high school auditorium here — where he graduated three years ago — to mourn his death and celebrate his legacy.

Fender, 21, died in an explosion June 10 in Karbala, Iraq. His flag-draped casket stood in the middle of the auditorium stage June 21 as pastor Arley Ellingson read from messages the family gave him to share with the congregation.

“Sporto could only be described as a young man with heart,” he read, describing how Fender and other soldiers gave Pop-Tarts to the Iraqi children and bought several more cases when they ran out.

Fender was assigned to Battery B of the 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, which is based at Fort Lewis, Wash.

Before his unit left for Iraq in February, he had been living in Medical Lake, Wash. His parents still live there.

Fender was born at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming and grew up in this western Iowa town. Fender attended Julesburg High School in Julesburg, Colo., before he returned to Onawa in 2002 and graduated from West Monona High School in 2004. He enlisted in the Army in October 2004.

In a packed auditorium — where soldiers and officers saluted, veterans stood proud, and mourners held their hands over their hearts — Ellingson reminded everyone of the sacrifice Fender made for his country.

“He was playing in the big leagues when it came to things that really mattered,” he said. “He had chosen a life that involved sacrifice. His qualities were measured by things like duty, honor, courage, commitment and, above all, service to others.”

Seventy members of the Patriot Riders Group, a collection of motorcycle riders, escorted Fender’s remains to the funeral service. Afterward, five cyclists preceded the hearse as the funeral procession left the high school and made its way toward Onawa Cemetery, where the soldier was buried.

“Anytime it happens, it’s too bad,” said Herold Meyer of Onawa, a veteran who served with the Army during peacetime. “The whole situation is unfortunate.”

Fender was remembered as a quiet student by one of his teachers.

“I was his government teacher my first year here,” said Jeremy Brayden. “Llythaniele was a quiet kid, very well mannered. He was very well put together in the way he carried himself.”

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