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Army Cpl. Willard M. Powell

Died August 16, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

21, of Evansville, Ind.; assigned to the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Wash.; died Aug. 16 in Balad, Iraq, of wounds sustained when the enemy attacked using small-arms fire during combat operations in Taramiyah, Iraq.

Evansville soldier killed in Iraq mourned

The Associated Press

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — A soldier killed in Iraq was remembered Saturday for his unswerving friendship.

Hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects to Cpl. Will Powell, 21, at Crossroads Christian Church on Evansville’s east side.

Powell was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team) at Fort Lewis, Wash. and died in Balad on Aug. 16 after being hit with enemy small arms fire in Taramiyah, the Department of Defense said.

A half-dozen friends spoke from the stage near Powell’s flag-draped casket, where a portrait of Powell in camoflage fatigues stood.

“Once you became his friend, he loved you no matter what,” said Bryce Pitlick. “He sacrificed himself for his friends, no matter what it was — and now he’s paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

A former youth pastor at the church, Matt Clark, recalled how Powell stubbornly found a way to visit a friend in Kentucky after his car broke down en route.

“He wanted you to know he could be the best, that he could do it, that he could prove it to you,” Clark said, adding that that drive showed in Powell’s military service.

The 2005 Reitz High School graduate joined the Army on in February 2006 and had been in Iraq since April.

Powell is survived by mother and stepfather Sunny and Mark Powell, and father and stepmother Willard and Linda Kerchief.

Following the funeral, Powell was buried with full military honors at Sunset Memorial Park.

He was posthumously awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal and Good Conduct Medal.

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