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Army Sgt. Taurean T. Harris

Died August 2, 2007 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

22, of Liberty, Miss.; assigned to the 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion, 513th Military Intelligence Brigade, Fort Gordon, Ga.; died Aug. 2 in Kala Gush, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device.

Liberty soldier’s funeral set for August 11

The Associated Press

GLOSTER, Miss. — Funeral services for Army Sgt. Taurean T. Harris have been scheduled for 11 a.m. August 11 at Homochitto Baptist Association in Gloster.

The body of Harris, 22, a Liberty soldier who died in Afghanistan last week, arrived August 9 at the McComb airport and was taken to a McComb funeral home.

Harris died from injuries suffered from a roadside bomb on Aug. 2 in Kala Gush. He was assigned to the 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion, 513th Military Intelligence Brigade, based at Fort Gordon, Ga.

Visitation will be from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. August 10 at Craft Funeral Home in McComb and from 4 p.m.-9 p.m. at West Jerusalem Baptist Church in Liberty. Burial will be in West Jerusalem Baptist Church cemetery.

Harris was an honor roll student and member of the Junior ROTC at Amite County High School before joining the Army shortly after graduating.

He had been in Afghanistan since December and had visited his family for a brief period in April. He was due to return home again around Christmas, according to a article.

Liberty soldier killed in Afghanistan laid to rest

The Associated Press

GLOSTER, Miss. — Hundreds of family, friends and military personnel turned out Aug. 11 for the funeral of Sgt. Taurean T. Harris to remember a man who was unfailing positive throughout his life.

Some who attended his funeral at the Homochitto Baptist Association wore T-shirts that showed a smiling Harris. That smile was remembered often during the service.

The Rev. Londie Weatherspoon, of West Jerusalem Baptist Church, told mourners that he baptized a smiling Harris.

“I had to tell him to shut his mouth or I’d drown him,” said Weatherspoon, drawing laughter from the otherwise somber crowd.

And Brig. Gen. Jeffery Foley of Fort Gordon, Ga., where Harris was based before being shipped to Afghanistan, said he thought he could tell that Harris was holding back a smile while posing for a military portrait displayed by his casket.

“He was able to bring joy to whatever we would do, no matter the task,” said Foley, echoing the comments of those who served with Harris.

No one at the service was sure where Harris picked up his smile. But he carried it with him through childhood in Liberty, his time at Amite County High School, where he served as Junior ROTC squad leader, and into his career with the Army.

“Taurean was such a fun-loving, kind, honorable person. And it’s sad to lose someone that outstanding,” former neighbor and classmate Lashonya “Shon” Harris told the Enterprise-Journal of McComb after the service.

Harris was killed Aug. 2 in Kala Gush, Afghanistan. The military initially reported that he was killed by a roadside bomb. But officials recently told his family he was killed during a shootout after his unit was ambushed. He was killed while returning gunfire.

Harris shipped out with the 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion, 513th Military Intelligence Brigade, in December and was scheduled to return home next March.

Harris is at least the 56th military member with close ties to Mississippi to die in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, and the second from Afghanistan.

Foley presented Harris’ mother, Yolanda Wagner, with the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals awarded to the soldier.

“He is exactly the type of soldier that makes me so proud to wear this uniform,” Foley said.

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