- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Spc. Dakotah L. Gooding
Died February 13, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
21, of Des Moines, Iowa; ; assigned to the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry, 3d Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.; killed Feb. 13 when the vehicle in which he was riding overturned in Balad, Iraq. Also killed were Sgt. Chad W. Lake and Sgt. Rene Knox Jr.
Des Moines soldier reported killed in Iraq
DES MOINES, Iowa — A Des Moines soldier is one of three reported killed when their armored Humvee overturned into a canal near the town of Balad, Iraq, during a combat patrol, the Department of Defense reported.
Spc. Dakotah L. Gooding, 21, and the other two were assigned to the Army’s 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry, 3d Infantry Division, based at Fort Stewart, Ga., the military said late Tuesday. The incident, which occurred on Sunday at about 5:10 a.m., is under investigation, the Army reported.
The others killed in the turnover were identified as Sgt. Chad W. Lake, 26, of Ocala, Fla., and Sgt. Rene Knox, Jr., 22, of New Orleans, La.
Relatives said Gooding grew up in Keokuk and he and his mother moved to Des Moines five years ago. His mother, who was in Georgia on Tuesday night awaiting his coffin, said he had wanted to be a soldier since he was five years old.
Gooding, who also left a wife, two sisters and three nieces and nephews, had been in Iraq less than three weeks when he was killed, relatives said.
The men from Task Force Danger were on a combat patrol near the town of Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad, the U.S. command said in a statement.
A fourth U.S. serviceman died attempting to rescue the soldiers on Sunday, the Pentagon said. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ray Rangel, 29, of San Antonio, apparently drowned after disappearing in the water.
Rangel was a firefighter with the Seventh Civil Engineer Squadron, based at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas.
Gooding is the 21st Iowa service member killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Funeral held for soldier killed in Iraq
SAVANNAH, Ga. — More than 100 friends and family members remembered on Saturday a soldier from the 3rd Infantry Division who was killed last week in Balad, Iraq, in a vehicle accident.
Sgt. Dakotah Lee Gooding, 21, was laid to rest Saturday in Springfield, Ga. He was killed Feb. 13 in a vehicle accident, family members said. Sgt. Rene Knox and Sgt. Chad Lake also were killed in the accident.
Also known as “Koty,” Gooding and the others were looking for an insurgent who had been firing at the base. The three soldiers were in a vehicle that fell into a canal.
It was not known who was driving, but an attempt was made by members of the unit to revive the three.
A fourth U.S. serviceman died attempting to rescue the soldiers, the Pentagon said. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ray Rangel, 29, of San Antonio, Texas, apparently drowned after disappearing in the water. Rangel was a firefighter with the 7th Civil Engineer Squadron, based at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas.
Rev. Claire E. Williams spoke of the impact Gooding had on the people he came across.
Brig. Gen. Richard McPhee, assistant division commander of the 24th Infantry Division based at Fort Riley, Kan., gave Gooding’s wife, Angela, a Bronze Star during the service.
“When you lose a soldier, it’s like losing a part of our family. It’s never easy,” McPhee said.
Gooding, who grew up in Keokuk, Iowa, joined the Army four years ago. He was assigned to the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry, where he served as a crewman on the Avenger Air Defense Artillery System. The unit currently is located in Balad, Iraq.
Williams mentioned the young couple, who had been married for two years.
“They had a whirlwind courtship, married only six months after their first date,” Williams said. “Koty adored Angela and did all he could to see she was taken care of. Their love grew even stronger when, only two days after getting married, Koty was shipped to Korea for a year.”
Gooding was buried in Effingham Memorial Gardens.
— Associated Press