James Edward Powell
Company B 1-22 Infantry
4th Infantry Division
KIA October 12, 2003
SPC James Powell was killed when his M2/A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle struck an enemy anti-tank mine near Baji, Iraq.
Fort Hood soldiers die
Posted on Thu, Oct. 16, 2003
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A
soldier who enlisted in the Army in Kentucky died in Iraq when
his Bradley armored vehicle
struck a land mine, the Army said.
Spc. James E. Powell, 26, was killed Sunday near Beiji, 30 miles north of Tikrit.
Powell was assigned to the 1st
Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment. The unit is part of the 4th
Infantry Division, which controls
a large swath of northern Iraq and is based in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown 120 miles north of Baghdad.
He was born in Ohio and
graduated from high school in Columbus, Ohio, but enlisted in the
Army in Radcliff, Ky.,
and listed it as his hometown of record, military officials said.
Powell enlisted in the Navy in
Columbus and served from June 1997 to June 2000, according to
a spokesman for Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tenn.
Powell served as a seaman
apprentice on the USS Arctic, based in Earle, N.J., McLellan
said. He enlisted in the Army
in January 2001, according to Dan Hassett, a spokesman at Fort Hood.
Powell was one of two soldiers
from his battalion who were hailed with Psalms and a 21-gun
in a memorial service at one of Saddam's palaces.
The other soldier was Spc.
Donald L. Wheeler, of Concord, Mich., who died Monday in downtown
when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his vehicle.
More than 190 American soldiers
have been killed by hostile fire since President Bush declared an
end to major combat
in Iraq on May 1. But the two deaths were especially poignant because they occurred within a 24-hour period
and within the same regiment, which is stationed in one of the most dangerous areas of Iraq.
Several hundred soldiers gathered at the downtown palace for the somber ceremony.
The two soldiers' helmets were
placed together with their nametags over their rifle butts, next
to their boots on a small podium
adorned with the U.S. flag and the regimental banner. Medals, including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, were awarded
posthumously to Wheeler and Powell, and placed next to their rifles.
"We mourn their loss; we honor their sacrifice," said Lt. Col. Steve Russell, the battalion commander.
"We will finish their
mission. As long as Regulars draw breath, we shall not forget
them," Russell said,
invoking the regiment's motto: "Regulars by God."
Company commanders recounted how
Powell had volunteered for a combat mission although he was due
for home leave
within days, and talked of Wheeler's "contagious smile and boundless enthusiasm."
In full battle gear, the troops
stood in formation as the two soldiers' names were called out
three times - with no response -
in a ceremonious roll-call. A bugler played taps. Surrounded by Bradley fighting vehicles and Abrams tanks,
a female soldier sang 'America the Beautiful' and 'Amazing Grace.'
Tears streaming down their cheeks, the troops then filed one by one by the podium to pay their respects.
Maj. Gen. Roy Odierno, the 4th Infantry Division commander, laid a division coin for excellence by the fallen soldiers' medals.
"They gave their lives for
their country," Odierno told reporters after the ceremony.
"These are all dedicated Americans
who love their country, who are here."
Members of B Company
1-22 Infantry in Iraq
SPC James Powell is on the far left.
This photo was posted on Josh Whitson's Facebook page on 10-12-2015 with the following entry:
hard to believe it's been 12 years. Not a day goes by that I
don't think of you my friend. You were definitely taken too soon.
Gone but NEVER forgotten. RIP James Powell. Until we regroup. Regulars By God.
Thanks to Josh Whitson for the photo and tribute to his fellow Soldier
Specialist James E. Powell's decorations
Soldier's widow recalls a love that was like few others
By JACOB BENNETT
Ruby Powell's love for her
husband James makes her say things like "he was the air I
breathe and the sky above me,"
and she says that doesn't do it justice.
He opened doors for her, lied
about sneaking his daughter ice cream and woke Ruby each morning
to say "I love you"
and "You're beautiful" before going to work
And he kept every promise but the one he made Oct. 4: He swore they'd speak again.
Details about Spc. James Edward
Powell, 26, have been scarce since the 4th Infantry Division
soldier was killed near Tikrit, Iraq,
last Sunday. But Friday, from their home at Fort Hood, Texas, Powell's 23-year-old widow painted a portrait of a man
who loved nothing more than being with his family even though his job often kept him from them.
He lived with her in Radcliff
for only four months before enlisting in the Army, swearing he
would give everything he could
to make sure his daughter was safe and free. And then he did just that.
"When I found out he died, I died," Ruby said. "I'll never tell another man I love you' and be able to mean it."
James, who was from Columbus,
Ohio, met Ruby's brother in the Navy and went home with him on a
hunting trip in 1998.
He met Ruby that September morning, and she was so stricken she asked him out that night. He would have asked her,
but the 5-foot-6-inch Powell was afraid she would say no and he thought the four inches she had on him would scare her off.
He shouldn't have worried. She fell hard the first time he spoke to her, "Good morning, beautiful."
"It was what people don't
believe in anymore, love at first sight," Ruby said.
"It was to the point where we couldn't be out of the same room. Everything was ablaze inside us."
He proposed six months later,
and they married in October 2000. When he got out of the Navy in
2001, they lived together
in Masden Mobile Home Park in Radcliff, not far from where her mother and stepfather, Carol Mann and Curtis Morgan, live.
They loved doing the simple things together, sleeping in on weekends, holding each other on the couch, drinking coffee in the morning.
He was away from his 2-year-old
daughter almost more than he was with her. He enlisted to give
her a better life,
but that meant he only saw her about nine months of it.
When he was home he would
pretend to sleep on the couch and his daughter would pull open
his eyelids for a game of peekaboo.
He would grab her, "Daddy's got you", and she would squeal with laughter and run away.
They named her Lauren Mkinsey,
Ruby picked the first name, James got the middle. She looks just
she even has the mushy tummy he got from too much junk food.
"Having her means I can look at him every single day," Ruby said. "I feel like our little girl got robbed so much."
James Powell cried the first
time Lauren told him she loved him. He cried again when Ruby lost
the son he'd always wanted.
They were going to try for another child when he came home.
Instead, he'll be placed in the
ground by Ruby's plot in Lebanon Junction, where she grew up
before moving to Radcliff in 1996.
No one is sure when that will be.
The Army said he died from
wounds suffered when the Bradley Fighting Vehicle he was riding
in rolled over an anti-tank mine
in northern Iraq. The Army said it's still investigating.
Now Ruby doesn't know what she's
going to do, where she's going to live.
She said she might not have gone on living, if it weren't for Lauren.
In April, she didn't even get to
hug James the last time she saw him when the military whisked him
onto a bus
and turned out the lights so the soldier's families couldn't see them. But she caught a glimpse.
He was praying.
He told Ruby later not to be mad at him if he didn't make it home. He'd always be with her, even if he wasn't.
James Powell was so excited when
he called Oct. 4. He made Ruby sit down before he told her he
would be home Oct. 10
and caused her to say "Oh, my God!" a million times in a row.
But he didn't show. On Monday, a chaplain and a sergeant came to her door and told her her husband was dead.
James always said he'd earn people's respect no matter what, Ruby said.
"I am so proud of him," she said. "When I think about him, I smile."
Then Ruby breaks a promise to herself. She starts to cry.
"God, I want to hold him so bad right now."
Jacob Bennett can be reached at 769-1200, Ext. 428 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright THE NEWS-ENTERPRISE http://www.newsenterpriseonline.com
Soldiers of 1-22
Infantry grieve at the memorial service for James Powell
and Donald Wheeler held in Tikirt, Iraq
Soldier killed by land mine buried
LEBANON JUNCTION, Ky. (AP) -- Emotions
were raw Sunday as Army Spc. James E. Powell was laid to rest
on a bleak autumn day in his wife's hometown.
Ruby Powell was doubled over,
her hands cupped over her face, throughout the burial ceremony
in Lebanon Junction City Cemetery, which borders the house where she grew up.
James Powell was killed Oct. 12
near Beiji when his Bradley armored vehicle set off a land mine.
Fellow soldiers said
the 26-year-old Columbus native had volunteered for a combat mission even though he was due for home leave within days.
Following private funeral
services, soldiers from nearby Fort Knox carried a flag-draped
coffin into the cemetery
as a lone bagpiper played "Amazing Grace."
Maj. Gen. Michael Rochelle, a
commanding general at Fort Knox, said Powell, who was
posthumously awarded medals
including the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, "paid the ultimate sacrifice in the effort to liberate Iraq."
Seven gunmen saluted Powell by firing shots into the air.
Powell was a member of the 1st
Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, based in Fort Hood, Texas. The
unit is part of the
4th Infantry Division, which controls a large swath of northern Iraq and is based in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown.
Powell served in the Navy from June 1997 to June 2000, during which time he met Ruby, the sister of a fellow seaman.
After the ceremony, two soldiers from Powell's unit spoke of his sacrifice.
"He was a good guy,"
said Spc. Tim Moore, who had served with Powell in Iraq but
returned home because of injury.
"He was always talking about hunting and fishing, and he loved his wife and daughter.
He always did what he had to do without complaining."
Capt. Matt Weber said that
although Ruby Powell was grieving, she was also proud
because her husband knew what it meant to be a soldier.
"He wasn't just a guy who
would put on the uniform and go to work," Weber said.
"She mentioned to me
that even if he had known what would happen, he still would have went."
About 50 people attended the burial in Lebanon Junction, 35 miles south of Louisville. Several veterans watched from a distance.
The occasion brought back
memories for Vietnam veteran Bob Brian, a neighbor of Ruby
who said his son died soon after he returned from being stationed abroad.
"Seventeen years ago I lost a son in the Army. He had a heart attack," said Brian. "So I feel for them."
Moore and Weber said a service
at Fort Hood was planned for Friday in honor of Powell and Spc.
Donald L. Wheeler,
of Concord, Mich., who died Oct. 13 in downtown Tikrit when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his vehicle.
Powell is survived by his 23-year-old wife and 2-year-old daughter, Lauren Mkinsey.
Copyright TROY DAILY NEWS http://www.tdn-net.com/
United States Army
Captain Craig Childs, from Galveston, Texas, of the 1st Battalion
22nd Infantry Regiment, bows his head during a memorial service that included
helmets resting on M-16's for Specialist James Powell and Specialist Donald Wheeler Jr.,
October 16, 2003 in Tikrit, Iraq.
Photo by Joe Raedle
Birth: Feb. 27, 1977
Death: Oct. 12, 2003, Iraq
Army Spc. Powell was assigned to B Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood,
Texas. Powell was killed when his M2/A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle struck an enemy anti-tank mine in Baji.
He had volunteered for the combat mission even though he was due for home leave within days;
he always did what he had to do without complaining. He had an outgoing personality and was always looking
to help someone out. James graduated from Linden McKinley High School in 1996. He enlisted in the Navy
and served from 1997 to 2000 as a seaman apprentice on the USS Arctic. He joined the Army in 2001
in Radcliff, Kentucky and hoped to join the state police in Kentucky after his current tour ended.
James loved hunting and fishing. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Combat Infantry Badge.
He leaves behind his wife, Ruby, and 2-year-old daughter.
Lebanon Junction Cemetery
Portrait of James Powell on his grave marker
Photo by Kay I from the Find a Grave website
Grave marker for James E. Powell
Photo by Kay I from the Find a Grave website
The M2 Bradely Fighting
Vehicle in which James E. Powell was Killed In Action
was restored and put on display at the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, Georgia.
For more on the above Bradley
vehicle in which SPC James Powell was killed
click on the following link:
1-22 Infantry Bradley at National Infantry Museum
To view a tribute to James E. Powell click on the following link:
Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom
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