Thursday, May 31, 2007

Kile Grant West reported killed in Iraq

An Army lieutenant with ties to Pasadena was one of 10 American servicemen killed on Memorial Day in Iraq.

Army 2nd Lt. Kile Grant West was killed when the Bradley fighting vehicle he commanded hit an improvised explosive device as he and his crew were trying to rescue soldiers in a downed helicopter, said his uncle Gary West, of Pasadena.

Kile West and his crew were killed, as were two soldiers in the downed helicopter, his uncle said on Tuesday.

West, 23, who grew up in Pasadena, had been looking forward to a scheduled two-week leave next month to visit family in Texas. The December 2005 Stephen F. Austin University graduate was planning to return to the United States on June 15.

An outdoorsman, Kile West had asked his father and uncle to check out a shotgun he could buy while here.

"We had already gone and looked at one for him to buy. He liked to bird hunt and deer hunt," Gary West said. The shotgun his nephew wanted was for bird hunting.

Gary West said his nephew had always planned to join the military.

"Kile wanted to be a soldier his whole life. I was a soldier, and his grandfather was a soldier in World War II. He just wanted to do that. He would watch the military channel on TV all the time. He wanted to go to college to be an officer in the Army. He died doing what he wanted to do," the uncle said.

West, who graduated from Hutto High School in Central Texas in 2001, was deployed to Iraq in October.

He is survived by his father and stepmother, Clark Grady West and Melissa West, of Pasadena; his mother, Nanette West, of Round Rock, and two younger sisters.

From the Houston Chronicle