Monday, February 19, 2007

Chad Marsh reported killed in Iraq

A 20-year-old Army private from Wichita was killed Saturday while serving in Iraq, his mother said Sunday.

Pfc. Chad Marsh, a 2005 graduate of Northwest High School, is the third Wichitan to have died in Iraq or Afghanistan.

"He was helpful, he loved to help," Janet Marsh said. "That's why he was over there. He wanted to help."

The U.S. Department of Defense had not officially released Marsh's name as of Sunday night. Janet Marsh said she was informed of her son's death on Saturday.

Janet Marsh said she was told her son died in a grenade explosion while he was a gunner on a Humvee.

According to an American Forces Press Service article posted on the Department of Defense's Web site, there was an incident in which a soldier was killed in a grenade explosion in Baghdad.

While the soldier's name was not in the article, U.S. Army Master Sgt. Jennifer Callender, the casualty assistant officer for the Marsh family, said the soldier was Pfc. Marsh.

According to the article, the soldier's unit was conducting a combat patrol when a grenade was thrown at his vehicle by an insurgent, killing the soldier.

"When it went off, the shrapnel, it wounded him in the back of the neck and the left arm," Janet Marsh said. She said her son died about an hour after the explosion.

Janet Marsh said her son became interested in military service when he joined the Junior ROTC program while in middle school.

"He loved it," she said.

She said he joined the Army when he was still in high school at Northwest. He went to serve in Iraq around September of last year.

"He was a good kid. He was a very good kid. He had a lot of friends, he was a very outgoing person. It's hard to describe him. He's one-of-a-kind."

From the Herald