Army Spc. William R. Sturges Jr.

Army Spc. William R. Sturges Jr.

Died January 24, 2004 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of Spring Church, Pa.; assigned to Company B, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, Fort Hood Texas; attached to Task Force All American; killed Jan. 24 when a vehicle-based improvised explosive device detonated in Khalidiyah, Iraq.
Soldier killed in Iraq remembered as loving husband, father
Associated Press

APOLLO, Pa. — A 24-year-old soldier killed in Iraq was remembered by family and friends Wednesday as a loving husband and father. Army Spc. William R. Sturges Jr., of Spring City, was killed Jan. 24 when a car bomb exploded next to his Humvee. Sturges was an indirect fire infantryman with the 1st Cavalry Division’s Company B, 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment, while his wife, Spc. Deida Sturges, was also serving in Iraq as an Army medic with the 21st Combat Support Hospital. During the ceremony at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Apollo, a single drummer played and Deida Sturges received her husband’s posthumous military honors, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. “I want you to remember that one single act of violence can end a life but it cannot conquer what a life stood for,” said the Rev. Nichole Torbitzky, pastor of the nearby First Reformed Church of the United Church of Christ in Vandergrift. “We remember together that his life had moments of delight and happiness, caring and friendship, sharing and love. Let us never forget this.” Sturges, a 1998 graduate of Lenape High School who enlisted in the Army that year, was deployed to Iraq in September 2003, shortly after his wife shipped out. Deida Sturges last heard from her husband a week before his death in an e-mail. The couple has a 16-month-old son and William Sturges also has a 4-year-old son. Pa. soldier killed in checkpoint attack; wife serving in Iraq PITTSBURGH — A soldier whose wife is an Army medic was among three killed when a car bomb exploded at a U.S. checkpoint west of Baghdad. Spc. William R. Sturges Jr., 24, of Spring City, died in the explosion, which happened near a bridge on the Euphrates River in Khaldiyah, the U.S. command said. Sturges, an indirect fire infantryman with the 1st Cavalry Division’s Company B, 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment, was serving in Iraq at the same time as his wife, Spc. Deida Sturges, an Army medic with the 21st Combat Support Hospital. Deida Sturges said she last heard from her husband a week before his death in an e-mail. In the e-mail, he asked her about where they should go when they re-enlisted, Deida Sturges told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He said he loved me and talk to you later,” Deida Sturges told the newspaper.
The couple met at a vocational school in Armstrong County, about 20 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, and married in 2000. They have a 16-month-old son and William Sturges also has a 4-year-old son. Deida Sturges was already in the Army, while William Sturges transferred from the National Guard into the Army. His mother, Linda Sturges, said her son likely joined the military because of his selflessness. “I know Bill was always one to protect people. He was always a caring person,” she said. The couple arrived at Fort Hood, Texas, in June 2003 and were deployed separately to Iraq. Deida Sturges, whose unit was expected to return this week, was returning to western Pennsylvania to plan her husband’s funeral and to rejoin their son, Gabriel, who was being cared for by relatives. — Associated Press

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