2 Schofield soldiers die in Iraq war
Sgt. Velton Locklear III might be the latest 25th Infantry Division combat death in Iraq, according to family members.
Kendrick Washington, 25th Division spokesman, only would confirm yesterday that two Schofield Barracks soldiers were killed this week in Iraq, and their names would not be released pending notification of next of kin.
There has been no official notice of the death of the two soldiers by the Pentagon, which usually comes two days after a soldier's family is notified.
The El Paso Times reported yesterday that Locklear, 29, died Saturday when a homemade bomb destroyed the vehicle he was riding in while on patrol in Kirkuk. The newspaper did not identify Locklear's Army unit.
His family told the Texas newspaper that this was his second tour in Iraq.
Locklear is survived by wife Denise and two sons, Nathan, 5, and Velton IV, 7, the newspaper reported. Funeral services in El Paso are pending.
COURTESY EL PASO TIMES
Army Sgt. Velton Locklear:
The Texas native served in Kirkuk with the 25th Infantry Division
Cpl. Yull Estrada Rodriguez:
The Kaneohe Marine was killed this month in Anbar province
The Associated Press, citing the U.S. command, reported yesterday that a U.S. soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in northern Baghdad, and two other American soldiers were killed and three injured this week when a bomb exploded near their patrol outside Hawija, 150 miles north of the capital.
More than 7,000 Schofield Barracks soldiers, many of them from the 25th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, left for Iraq last month for a one-year tour of duty.
Last Tuesday, the 25th Infantry Division officially began its year-long tour in Iraq. Its commander, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, assumed command of Multinational Division-North and 21,000 U.S. troops in northern Iraq.
So far this year, the 25th Division has lost Pfc. Jeremy R. Shank, who was killed while on patrol near Balada on Sept. 6. Shank was assigned to the 25th Division's 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry.
Two years ago, 5,200 Schofield Barracks soldiers were deployed to northern Iraq, and 13 25th Division soldiers were killed.
Without counting the latest reported death, 34 soldiers, two sailors, 56 Marines, one Air Force personnel and one civilian with Hawaii ties have been killed in Iraq since the war started in March 19, 2003.
This month, two Marines assigned to Kaneohe's 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, were killed in Anbar province. The unit is slated to return to its Kaneohe Bay base next month. Killed in action were:
» Lance Cpl. Ryan A. Miller, 19, of Pearland, Texas, on Sept. 14 while conducting combat operations.
» Cpl. Yull Estrada Rodriguez, 21, of Alegre Lajas, Puerto Rico, on Wednesday while conducting combat operations.