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Army Spc. William G. Bowling

Died April 1, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of Beattyville, Ky.; assigned to the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.; died April 1 in Baghdad when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations. Also killed were Army Staff Sgt. Eric R. Vick, Army Sgt. Robert M. McDowell and Army Staff Sgt. David A Mejias.

Soldier killed in Iraq was due home to see new baby

The Associated Press

BEATTYVILLE, Ky. — Jennifer Bowling exchanged Internet messages with her husband a little more than a week ago, discussing plans for his return from Iraq and seeing his new baby.

Bowling's husband, Sgt. William G. Bowling, never made it home. He died April 1 with three others from his battalion when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle, the military said.

For Jennifer Bowling, the shock hasn't worn off yet.

``I'm just trying to take it day by day right now,'' Jennifer Bowling said.

Killed were William Bowling, 24, of Beattyville, Staff Sgt. Eric R. Vick, 25, of Spring Home, N.C.; Staff Sgt. David A. Mejias, 26, of San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Sgt. Robert M. McDowell, 30, of Deer Park, Texas.

They were assigned to the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y.

Jennifer Bowling described her husband as a sports fan, who followed Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts of the NFL and NASCAR. He was a fan of Dale Earnhardt until the race driver died in a crash, and then rooted for his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The couple met about six years ago while both worked for Affiliated Computer Services in Beattyville.

``We were friends for a good while before we started dating,'' Jennifer said. ``”But we just always got along.''

They married in the spring of 2003, shortly after William Bowling finished basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. Joining the military was a decision made after some thought, Jennifer Bowling said.

``”He was at a point in his life where he just felt like he needed to enlist,'' she said. ``”He thought about joining right after 9/11, and he thought about it some more after that. It was just something he thought he needed to do.''

William Bowling, an only child, served as an infantryman in Iraq in 2004 and 2005. He re-enlisted in 2005 and joined the military police. He went back to Iraq last August.

``He loved the work he did,'' Jennifer said. ``He supported the country, and he really believed in what he was doing over there.''

At home, William Bowling loved his family, particularly his 1-year-old daughter, Hannah, and was eager to meet his new child, who is expected in about two weeks, Jennifer Bowling said. When the couple last exchanged messages, they talked about his returning home on April 29, a recent promotion to sergeant and the new baby.

``We just talked about everyday things,'' Jennifer said.

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