Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Army Pvt. William A. Long

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pvt. William A. Long, 23, Arkansas.

CONWAY, Ark. (AP) — The father of a soldier slain outside a recruiting center sought a quiet life for his family in rural Arkansas after years of military service, but the battlefield came home to find them.

Daris Long’s son, Army Pvt. William Andrew Long, was shot Monday in suburban Little Rock while he stood and smoked a cigarette, far from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Long, 23, died in an attack that also wounded Pvt. Quinton I. Ezeagwula, 18. The alleged gunman, Abdulhakim Muhammad, also 23, told investigators he wanted to kill as many Army personnel as he could “because of what they had done to Muslims in the past,” police said.

But Ezeagwula and Long had never seen battle. Both only completed basic training recently and had volunteered to help attract others into military service. Long was heading to South Korea, not even the Middle East, for his service.

“He was a hero. The other young lad that’s in the hospital, he’s a hero,” Daris Long told Little Rock television station KATV. “They weren’t on the battlefield, but apparently, the battlefield’s here.”

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