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Army Spc. Anthony C. Owens

Died February 1, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

21, of Conway, S.C.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.; killed Feb. 1 when his unit was attacked by enemy forces using grenades and small-arms fire in Baghdad.

Dillon soldier killed in Iraq laid to rest

The Associated Press

DILLON, S.C. — A World War II Army jeep took Spc. Anthony Chad Owens on his last ride as he was laid to rest Sunday.

The jeep took Owens’ flag-draped coffin from Calvary Baptist Church in Dillon to Greenlawn Cemetery during the funeral for the 21-year-old soldier, killed Feb. 1 when his unit was attacked by insurgents using grenades and small arms fire.

Owens had served in the Army for about two years and was a member of the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade.

“He was a man of courage who went and fought valiantly,” the Rev. Gary Reeves said.

Owens’ parents wept as their son was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Reeves eulogized Owens to a packed church between songs like “Hero” by Mariah Carey and “The Dance” by Garth Brooks.

“He was committed to his nation and his God,” Reeves said. “Whatever he believed in, he jumped into with both feet.”

Owens was born in Florence and lived most of his life in Dillon. He enlisted in the Army shortly after graduating from high school.

Owens’ uncle said the family is taking it hard. “You see this all the time on TV, but you don’t think it’s going to happen to someone you love,” Ray Williamson said.

Owens’ brother, Shane Owens, is a soldier stationed in Germany and is scheduled to be deployed to Iraq soon, Williamson said.

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