Stryker soldier on extended tour dies of wounds suffered in Baghdad attack
A soldier who was extended along with the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team has died from wounds he suffered in Baghdad, the Army announced Tuesday.
Staff Sgt. Eugene Alex, 32, died Saturday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany after being shot Aug. 30 while pulling security duty at a traffic control point in Baghdad, officials said.
The Bay City, Mich., man was not one of the roughly 300 soldiers who had returned to Alaska and were sent back to Iraq after the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team was extended, said Linda Douglass, a spokesman at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
Alex was a cavalry scout with the 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment of the 172nd, who joined the Army in 1996 and was assigned to Fort Wainwright in September 2003, Douglass said.
The 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team was extended for up to four months in July and later moved from Mosul to Baghdad to quell sectarian violence.
The unit has joined the second phase of Operation Together Forward, during which violent incidents in Baghdad have decreased from a weekly average of 52 to about 31, an Army commander recently told reporters.
The second phase was launched after the initial Operation Together Forward failed to result in a significant reduction in sectarian violence in Baghdad, according to a recent Defense Department report.
The 172nd is not the first unit to have its deployment to Iraq extended.
In April 2004, the 1st Armored Division was extended for up to 120 days, and one month later several soldiers from a Baumholder, Germany-based unit were killed by a suicide bomber.