Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Larry R. Bowman dies of injuries from I.E.D.

The driver of a heavy supply truck from Fort Lewis is the latest local casualty of the war in Iraq.

Sgt. Larry R. Bowman, 29, from Granite Falls, N.C., died Friday in Baghdad from wounds suffered when the vehicle he was driving through the desert hit a roadside bomb, Army officials said Monday.

Bowman, whose convoy was returning to its Kuwait base, deployed from Fort Lewis in July as a member of the 513th Transportation Company. The unit has about 150 soldiers and is part of the 57th Transportation Battalion, 593rd Corps Support Group.

After joining the Army in February 2003, Bowman came to Fort Lewis in October 2005 and was on his first tour of Iraq, said Catherine Caruso, a spokeswoman at the post.

The Army will fly Bowman’s body to North Carolina from Dover, Del., this week, his father-in-law, Bob Navarro, told the Charlotte Observer newspaper.

A memorial service at Fort Lewis is scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Post officials didn't release any information about his family status.

Bowman is the 96th soldier from Fort Lewis to die in the Iraq war. But he is the first casualty from the transportation company, which is on its third trip to Iraq and was among the first local units to deploy to the Middle East before the war started in early 2003.

Big-rig drivers with the 513th have carried supplies all over Kuwait and southern Iraq clear up past Baghdad. They deliver food, water, ammunition, vehicle parts and the like.

Transportation specialists traditionally have been less exposed than front-line infantry troops; before Bowman’s death, only one soldier from any Fort Lewis transportation company had died in hostile action since the war began.

But with the increasing use of roadside bombs by insurgents in Iraq, the front lines are everywhere.

The bombs, which are gaining in sophistication, accounted for 50 of the 81 U.S. military deaths in March and 38 of the 58 deaths so far in April, McClatchy Newspapers reported Monday.

Bowman was the third Fort Lewis soldier to die this year from wounds sustained in roadside bomb blasts.

From the Bellingham Herald