Two members of a Rocky Mount-based National Guard unit have been killed in Iraq.
The Defense Department says the two were killed Saturday in Baghdad after their vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device.
Sgt. Thomas Ray, II, 40, of Weaverville
Sgt. David Williams, 26, of Tarboro
The two were members of the 1132nd Military Police Company of the North Carolina Army National Guard.
Just today the Pentagon announced that the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq had topped 4,000.
"All of the Guard is saddened by the loss of Sgt. Ray and Sgt. Williams and our thoughts and prayers are with their families," said Maj. Gen. William E.
Ingram, Jr., Adjutant General of the North Carolina National Guard.
The National Guard says Sgt. Ray joined the Navy in 1985 and served three years on active duty as a Navy Medical Specialist and he then joined the NC Army National Guard in May of 2006. He graduated in the top of his class at the 31B Basic Military Police Course and became a qualified Military Police officer in June 2007 qualifying as "Expert" with his 9 millimeter pistol shooting 50 out of 50 during qualification. Sgt. Ray was awarded the Army Commendation Medal in January by the Commander of the 18th Military Police Brigade for "Exceptionally Commendable Service while serving as a Gunner during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Sgt. Ray's dedication to duty during combat operations in Iraq contributed to the overall success of the unit's mission." Sgt. Ray was married with one teenage daughter
Sgt. David Williams joined the NC Army National Guard in July 2003, serving as 31B Military Police Soldier, Sgt. Williams was on his second tour of duty in Iraq, the first was with the NC Army National Guard's 105th Military Police Battalion which operated Camp Bucca, a large detention facility in southern Iraq. He was awarded the Combat Action Badge, and the Army Commendation Medal for his service, his battalion commander noting that he was a "Quality Soldier". SGT Williams transferred to the 1132nd MP Company and was assigned as a team leader and was recently awarded a second Army Commendation Medal this January from the Commander of the 18th Military Police Brigade for "Exceptionally Commendable Service while serving as a Driver during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Sgt. Williams dedication to duty during combat operations in Iraq contributed to the overall success of the units mission." Sgt. Williams is survived by his mother and sister.
The 1132 Military Police Company mobilized in June of 2007 with about 120 Soldiers and is stationed in Baghdad Iraq. They are due to return to North Carolina this fall.
This brings the total of NC National Guard Soldiers killed in action to seven.