Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Thomas L. Latham dies of injuries from I.E.D.

BALTIMORE - A soldier from the Eastern Shore was killed this week in Iraq, his family said Tuesday.

Army Spc. Tommy Lee Latham, 23, of Delmar, was riding a Humvee Sunday when it was hit by a roadside bomb, his mother-in-law Florence Guy said. WBOC-TV first reported Latham's death.

Latham grew up on the Eastern Shore and is survived by his wife, Rachel Guy-Latham and two children. Before his deployment to Iraq, he served a stint in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon had not confirmed Latham's death by Tuesday evening.

Rachel Guy-Latham, 22, told WBOC this was his first tour of duty in Iraq; he had previously served in Afghanistan.

She said her first priority are the children. "I'm 22 with two babies," she said. "I just don't know how any of it works."

Guy-Latham and their two children, Caleb, 5, and Ariel, 21 months, live with her mother, Florence Guy.

"They were a good family," Guy said Tuesday. "(Tommy Lee) was a really good father. This is a loss for the kids - for Ariel, because she'll never know him, and Caleb, because he won't be able to do the things he did with him, like play soccer and video games."

Latham and Guy-Latham had known each other since seventh grade, Guy said, and graduated from Wicomico High School together in 2002. But they didn't start dating until shortly before Latham, who joined the Army right after high school, was posted to Afghanistan.

When Latham returned from that tour, the two got married, Guy said.

Latham was home for Christmas, and spent time with the whole family, Guy said, including his parents, who traveled from North Carolina to Delmar to see him.

"We've all lost a very good human being and it was tragic. He was a good kid and to have just turned 23, it's a tragedy, especially leaving behind two small children. They never really had a chance to be a family," Guy said.

From the Examiner