Army Spc. Gregory P. Sanders

Army Spc. Gregory P. Sanders

Died March 24, 2003 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom

19, of Hobart, Ind.; assigned to 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor, Fort Stewart, Ga.; killed in action in Iraq.
Greg Sanders, the son of a Navy sailor, was wearing combat gear even before he was out of diapers.

“He wanted to be a soldier,” said his mother, Leslie Sanders, holding a photo of her son, age 2, wearing a green-and-khaki camouflage T-shirt. “He was born to be a soldier.” Sanders, 19, of Hobart, Ind., was killed in a sniper shooting Monday in Iraq as his unit moved north toward Baghdad. His wife, Ruthann, was his high school sweetheart, and they have a 14-month-old daughter, Gwendolyn. “We’re just trying to take it one day at a time,” Ruthann Sanders said. “We’re very proud of him.” Leslie Sanders said her son enlisted right after graduating from Hobart High in 2001. He struggled over whether to join the Marines but chose the Army. He knew life in the military could be dangerous. As a child, he saw a Navy plane crash at his father’s base in California. His father, a Navy veteran who is now deceased, talked with him before he joined the Army. “His dad told him it’s not going to be all these wonderful things,” Leslie Sanders said. “But Greg just said, ‘I want to be a soldier.” The family received a letter from Sanders on Monday, hours before they learned he had been killed, said an uncle, Rick Knight. It was written two weeks earlier in Kuwait. “His morale was great, and he said he anticipated coming home in June or July,” his uncle said.

Associated Press

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