Thursday, February 25, 2010

Army Sgt. William C. Spencer

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. William C. Spencer, 40, of Tacoma, Wash.

Sgt. Spencer was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 146th Field Artillery Regiment, Washington National Guard, Olympia, Wash.; died Feb. 25, 2010 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, of wounds sustained Feb. 20 while supporting combat operations at Combat Outpost Marez, Iraq.

A Washington National Guard soldier from Tacoma who chose to stay in Iraq after his unit returned home died in an American military hospital in Germany.

Soldiers and Airmen gathered to pay their final respects to Sgt. William C. Spencer, at a fallen Soldier ceremony March 1 at the Joint Operations Center at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Spencer, a gunner died Feb. 25 from an aneurysm while serving at Contingency Operating Base Marez, Iraq.

He was posthumously promoted from specialist to sergeant Feb. 25.

Spencer deployed with the 81st Brigade Combat Team in August 2009 and chose to stay with the Mississippi National Guard unit that replaced it. He served with the Olympia-based 2nd Battalion, 146th Field Artillery Regiment.

The brigade of 3,500 soldiers – about 2,400 of whom are from Washington – lost one soldier during its yearlong mobilization. Spc. Samuel D. Stone of Port Orchard was killed May 30, 2009, when his M1117 Armored Security Vehicle rolled during a convoy mission outside Tallil.

Spencer is the second Washington soldier to die in Iraq this year. Pfc. Adriana Alvarez, a 20-year-old military policeman, died Feb. 10.

Spencer had previously served in the Air Force before joining the National Guard. Memorial service details have not been made.

"I stand with all Washingtonians today as we mourn the loss of Sgt. William Spencer," Gov. Chris Gregoire said in a release. "Sgt. Spencer was a proud member of the 81st – and chose to stay in Iraq with the Mississippi Army National Guard when his unit came home. He is a true hero who sacrificed his life to protect our freedoms, and provide a better life for those living in the Middle East."

Spencer, a Clinton, Ky., native, was born Aug. 11, 1969, and is survived by his mother, Sharon Welch, and his sister, Sharon Whittle

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