Families mourn 4 Germany-based soldiers killed in Iraq
July 24, 2007
The deaths in Iraq of four more soldiers from Schweinfurt, Germany, were announced Monday by the Pentagon.
Sgt. 1st Class Luis E. Gutierrez-Rosales, 38, of Bakersfield, Calif.; and Spcs. Zachary R. Clouser, 19, of Dover, Pa., Richard Gilmore III, 22, of Jasper, Ala., and Daniel E. Gomez, 21, of Warner Robbins, Ga., all died July 18 from wounds suffered from a roadside bomb and small-arms fire.
The four were in a vehicle in Adhamiyah in eastern Baghdad when they were attacked. All four soldiers belonged to 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, which is part of the Schweinfurt-based 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.
Much of the brigade is scheduled to return to Schweinfurt this fall after serving a 15-month tour in Iraq.
A memorial service has not yet been scheduled in Germany for the four soldiers, according to Kimberly Gearhart, an assistant in the Army Garrison Schweinfurt public affairs office.
Gearhart said 56 Schweinfurt-based soldiers have died in Iraq in the past year.
The 1-26 has suffered a particularly difficult month.
On June 21, five of its soldiers died when a bomb struck their Bradley fighting vehicle. On July 11, 1st Sgt. Jeffrey R. McKinney, 40, of Garland, Texas, died in Adhamiyah in a noncombat related event. The Army has released no further details on McKinney’s death, only saying that it is being investigated.
A memorial service for McKinney has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at Ledward chapel on Ledward Barracks in Schweinfurt.
Gutierrez-Rosales was planning to marry his fiancee when he went on leave after returning from Iraq, according to his hometown newspaper, the Bakersfield Californian. He then would have returned to Schweinfurt.
Gilmore, in addition to his parents, is survived by his wife, Jimmie Sue Gilmore, and his two children, a son, Malakiah, and a daughter, Alexis, according to The Associated Press.
“The minute I opened the door and saw those two soldiers, I knew. I was just crushed,” Gilmore’s father, Richard Gilmore, told The Jasper (Ala.) Daily Mountain Eagle newspaper. “He was my best friend. We were very close. I’m going to cry many nights over this.”
Clouser would have turned 20 in a couple of weeks, his mother told a local television station.
“Zachary was the biggest prankster, jokester, anything he could do to get anybody to smile,” his mother, Deb Etheridge, told WPMT-TV.
Clouser was one of seven siblings and loved to fish and hunt, family said.
Gomez had returned to Iraq in June after a midtour leave, family members said.
“Right now we’re kind of at a loss for words,” Gomez’s sister, Marian Gomez, was quoted as telling the Macon (Ga.) Telegraph. “But I think Daniel’s life was like a lesson. All the things he’s been through in such a short time. … What we learned from this one situation was that you’re here one day, you’re gone the next.”
“He was well loved,” Marian said. “We had a vigil last night and tons of people showed up. More than we ever expected. He touched a lot of people’s lives.”