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Army Staff Sgt. William T. Latham

Died June 18, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

29, of Kingman, Ariz.; assigned to Troop E, 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo.; died June 18, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Latham was participating in a raid at a suspected arms market in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on May 19 when he was hit by shrapnel. Latham was evacuated back to the United States where he died of his wounds.

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Fort Carson casualty always wanted to be in the military

Associated Press

PHOENIX — A 29-year-old soldier from Fort Carson, Colo., who was killed after being hit by shrapnel in Iraq had been adamant about joining the military since childhood, his parents said.

William T. Latham of Kingman had insisted on joining the military since he was 12, said his mother, Brenda Latham.

“He attained his goal and enjoyed it. He was doing what he wanted to do,’’ she told The Arizona Republic.

Latham died June 18 at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. Fort Carson spokesman Richard Bridges said Latham’s wife decided to take him off life support and was at his side when he died.

Latham was injured during a May 19 raid at a suspected arms market in Iraq as he and other soldiers broke through the door of the compound.

Latham ordered his troops to fire a grenade at the door, and a piece of shrapnel flew under his helmet and lodged in his head, his parents were told by the military. No one else was injured.

“I hear that the troops are blaming themselves,’’ said Latham’s father Sid, choking back tears. “It’s nobody’s fault.’’

Latham was part of Eagle Troop, 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Regiment, stationed at Fort Carson.

He comes from a long line of service members, said Sid Latham, an Army veteran. Two uncles are Vietnam veterans, and both grandfathers served in World War II.

“The kid ate up being in the military,’’ his father said. “He really loved it.’’

Besides his parents, Latham is survived by his wife, Melissa, and three children, Patricia, 10; Travis, 9; and Jeremy, 6.

Latham was the 10th fatality among soldiers from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Iraq and the 11th Fort Carson soldier killed overall.

A memorial service will be held at Fort Carson but no date has been set, Bridges said.

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