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Army Sgt. Eric W. Morris

Died April 28, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

31, of Sparks, Nev.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Wash.; killed April 28 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Stryker military vehicle in Tal Afar, Iraq. Also killed were 1st Lt. William A. Edens, Spc. Ricky W. Rockholt Jr. and Pfc. Robert W. Murray Jr.

Fort Lewis soldier killed in Iraq bombing

Associated Press

RENO, Nev. — The latest Nevada soldier killed in Iraq re-enlisted in the Army because of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, his family said.

Sgt. Eric W. Morris, 31, of Sparks, was one of four troops killed in Iraq on Thursday when a homemade bomb exploded near their Stryker military vehicle.

Morris attended Reed High School in Sparks in 1992 and 1993. He was in Iraq for 17 months and then was back home for only two months before his unit deployed to Iraq in September for a second tour, his sister, Tina Farley, said.

Morris left the Army the first time in 2001, Farley said. But she said he told her after the Sept. 11 attacks that he couldn’t stand by without doing something to make sure such an attack never happened again.

“He said, ‘You know what? I’m not going to tolerate (Sept. 11). I’m going back in,”’ she told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Also killed Thursday in Tal Afar, Iraq, were 1st Lt. William A. Edens, 29, of Columbia, Mo.; Spc. Ricky W. Rockholt Jr., 28, from Winston, Ore.; and Pfc. Robert W. Murray Jr., 21, from Westfield, Ind.

Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn and Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., issued statements Monday expressing their sorrow over the loss of Morris.

“The death of an American soldier is always a tragedy, but losing a Nevadan brings direct and personal sadness to everyone in our state,” Reid said.

Guinn said all Nevadans owe Morris a debt of gratitude.

“Sgt. Morris risked his own life so that others would have the opportunity to experience the liberties that all Americans enjoy. Sadly, this act of bravery cost him his life,” the governor said.

Morris and Edens were part of the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division based at Fort Lewis, Wash.

Rockholt and Murray were assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, based at Fort Carson, Colo.

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