Friday, August 17, 2007

Daniel (William D.) Scates remembered by mother

When most kids were dreaming of being an astronaut or professional football player, William Scates knew he would be a soldier.

Moreana Whitson, Scates' mother, said she's not sure why her son had such an attraction to the military, but it never wavered from the time he was 5 or 6 years old until he died Saturday in Iraq.

Scates, a 31-year-old staff sergeant from Oklahoma City, died in Arab Jabour, Iraq, when he was hit by a roadside bomb. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Ga. Three other soldiers also were killed by the blast.

Scates is the 57th Oklahoman killed in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in 2003.

"He wanted to fight for his country when he was just a little boy,” Whitson said. "He used to draw pictures of soldiers. It's just what he always wanted to do.”

Scates attended Western Heights High School. The Eagle Scout joined the military after graduating, serving in the Oklahoma National Guard before joining the active-duty military.

Scates met his wife, Raquel, while stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas.

The couple had a 9-year-old daughter, Jade, and a 7-month-old daughter, Kendra.

Raquel Scates said the family had lived near Fort Stewart, Ga., for the past four years.

Whitson said her son was a career military man who had already served two tours in Iraq. She spoke often and candidly with her son about the war.

"He knew how dangerous it was,” Whitson said. "He was a little afraid this time. He kind of had a feeling that he might not make it back this time, but he was a brave guy and he loved his country.”

Whitson said the same instinct to be protective of his two sisters when he was a boy drove Scates to protect his country as an adult.

"He always felt a sense of duty,” Whitson said. "He was a hero to all of us.”

Whitson said her son wanted to be buried near his wife's home in Texas. Services have not been set.

From the Oklahoman

Related Link:
William D. Scates dies 'of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device'