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Army Spc. Richard A. Goward

Died April 14, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

32, of Midland, Mich.; assigned to 1460th Transportation Company, Midland, Mich.; killed when his truck entered a dust cloud and rear-ended the truck in front of him in Iraq.

The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, spurred Richard “Ric” Goward to join the Michigan Army National Guard.

“He told me, ‘If I can’t protect my family, who can?’”, his wife Karen recalled him saying at the time.

Reflecting on her husband’s death April 14 in Iraq, she said he was “a wonderful husband and father.”

Goward enjoyed jujitsu and outdoor activities.

Goward, 32, of Midland, Mich., was killed when his truck entered a dust cloud and plowed into a truck in front of it. The Army is still investigating the accident.

Goward served in the Army from 1960 to 1996 and had been a correctional officer at St. Louis Correctional Facility in central Michigan since May 1999. Goward and his wife have two daughters, ages 8 and 5.

He was one of 100 soldiers sent to the Middle East at the end of March from the Army National Guard’s 1460th Transportation Company in Midland.

“He was extremely patriotic,” neighbor Derek Bujak said. “There is a sign in their yard saying Proud to Be An American; they had flags on their cars after Sept. 11. I don’t know how much more patriotic you can get than by joining the National Guard when you have two little kids at home.”

— USA Today, Associated Press

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