Strike Force soldier killed in Iraq while guarding polling place
February 4, 2005
SEOUL — As Iraqi officials count ballots this week from the country’s first free election in decades, other tallies continue to mount: Sunday, military officials and media outlets reported 260 election day insurgent attacks, at least 30 deaths among both insurgents and Iraqi citizens, and the death of one American soldier.
That soldier, 22-year-old Pfc. James H. Miller IV, died in Ramadi after suffering injuries from an improvised explosive device, the Pentagon reported. Miller was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division in Camp Casey, South Korea.
His was the 40th death since 3,600 members of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, known as Strike Force, deployed to Iraq late last summer, according to a tally kept by Stars and Stripes.
As of Tuesday morning, 1,431 servicemembers have died since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq began in March 2003, according to the Pentagon.
This week, American leaders and Shiite Muslims in Iraq proclaimed Sunday’s election of a 275-member assembly a success, saying at least 50 percent of eligible voters went to the polls. Some of the 5,200 precincts across the country ran out of ballots, Iraqi leaders said.
Miller, of Cincinnati, was guarding a polling place Sunday when a bomb went off, his father told the Journal-News.
“They’ll make bombs out of pop cans over there,” James H. Miller III told the Hamilton, Ohio, newspaper. “It’s a tough loss. You just don’t want to believe it. He was doing great and he loved it over there.”
Miller graduated from high school in 2001 and attended classes at Xavier University before enlisting in the Army nearly two years ago, his father told the Journal-News.
“We want everybody to know that he really believed in what he was doing over there and in our country’s mission,” James Miller III said. “We pray for all the men and women who are over there."
Iraqi officials expect election results to be known within the next week.