Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Army Spc. Riley S. Spaulding

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Riley S. Spaulding, 21, of Sheridan, Texas

Spc Spaulding was assigned to 2nd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany; died May 4, 2011 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained in a non-combat incident.

Army Spc. Riley S. Spaulding had just finished his Afghanistan tour and was about to returned to Germany, then back to Texas.

But somehow — no one yet knows how — Spaulding was killed in a non-combat incident.

"I just wanted to know what happened," Micki Spaulding said of her 21-year-old son, of Sheridan, about 70 miles west of Houston. "But they couldn't tell me."

The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed over the weekend that Spaulding died last Wednesday in Afghanistan. His body arrived at Dover Air Force Base on Thursday.

"They (Army officials) are doing an investigation and can't say anything until it's complete," said Spaulding. "It is an accident, I'm sure."

The specialist wanted to wanted to join the Army while still a student at Rice High School, near Sheridan.

"I had to sign his paperwork for him to go into the Army," his mother said. "He didn't turn 18 until after he graduated."

After his 2007 graduation, he was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany.

Spaulding was described by his mother as an "energetic young man" who loved to fish on a lake near their home, and to hang out with his friends.

He completed basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., and served a tour in Iraq. His last tour was in the Kandahar province in Afghanistan.

Spaulding said the tight-knit Sheridan community has rallied to her family's support since learning the news.

"I am surrounded by a community of wonderful people who have just flooded me with their love and concern," she said.

Army Spc. Riley S. Spaulding was killed in a non-combat related incident on 5/4/11.

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