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Army Staff Sgt. Roy P. Lewsader Jr.

Died June 16, 2007 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

36, of Belleville, Ill.; assigned to 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; died June 16 in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan, from wounds sustained when his vehicle was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Fort Riley soldier killed in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

FORT RILEY, Kan. — A Fort Riley soldier was killed in Afghanistan when his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, the Army said June 18.

Staff Sgt. Roy P. Lewsader Jr., 36, died June 16 in Tarin Kowt.

Lewsader was an infantryman serving on a transition team assigned to 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, which is based at the northeast Kansas post. His home of record was listed as Belleville, Ill.

But April Blackmon, a spokeswoman for Fort Riley, Kan., where Lewsader was based, said Lewsader’s wife called the base to say he was from Clinton, Ind., after the news release went out.

Blackmon said Army records showed Belleville as Lewsader’s “home of record,” but family said the soldier had no known ties to Belleville or Illinois, the Belleville News-Democrat reported.

“This hasn’t ever happened to us before,” Blackmon told the newspaper. “Right now, the Army is looking into it.”

The Defense Department said Lewsader entered the Army in September 1993 and deployed on the transition team in January.

Fort Riley officials said that as of June 18, 108 soldiers from the post have been killed while serving in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Illinois soldier killed in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

Army Staff Sgt. Roy P. Lewsader Jr. loved music and played the guitar. When he packed his bags for deployment, Lewsader dismantled his guitar so he could take it with him.

It wasn’t long before he called his wife, Melissa, from Afghanistan and told her he had forgotten to pack his guitar amplifier.

She remembers her husband asking, “Can you send the amp?” Lewsader Jr., 36, of Clinton, Ill., was killed by a bomb blast June 16 in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Fort Riley, Kan. He did two tours of duty in Korea and was on his second tour of Afghanistan.

“I am so proud of him. He’s done what he’s wanted to do since he was 6 or 7 years old. He died doing what he wanted to do. He died for his friends,” said Beverly Price, his mother.

Mark Lewsader, a younger brother, said he got a thrill out of aggravating his older sibling. “I picked on him and teased him about his hair, the way he ate or slept, just about anything I could think of,” Mark Lewsader said. “I don’t claim him as a hero, I claim his as a brother.”

He also is survived by four daughters, Briana, Ozzra’D, Cheyenne and Keebee and a son, Billy.

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