3 GIs from state killed in Iraq
A pair of large roadside bombs killed two Washington soldiers and injured five others from the Northwest in Iraq on Thursday. A separate roadside bomb...
Seattle Times staff and wire reports
A pair of large roadside bombs killed two Washington soldiers and injured five others from the Northwest in Iraq on Thursday. A separate roadside bomb attack killed a third Washington soldier.
Staff Sgt. Coby G. Schwab, 25, who lived in Puyallup, and Cpl. Kelly B. Grothe, 21, of Spokane Valley, were killed when a blast hit the "Buffalo" heavily armored vehicle they were traveling in on a mission to clear a road in Ramadi.
Schwab is originally from Henderson, Nev., and his wife is an active-duty soldier stationed at Fort Lewis, said Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Coon, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Reserve.
An earlier roadside bomb blast hit another vehicle in the group, injuring five soldiers from Washington, Idaho and Montana. The "Buffalo" Schwab and Grothe were in pulled up to assist the injured soldiers when the second bomb was detonated, said Coon.
The soldiers were from the 321st Engineer Battalion of the U.S. Army Reserve, based in Hayden Lake, Idaho. The unit was deployed to Iraq in September to clear roadside bombs and protect convoys, one of the war's most dangerous missions, Coon said.
According to the Spokane Spokesman-Review, Grothe graduated from Central Valley High School in 2004.
In a separate incident, a 24-year-old soldier who grew up in Thurston County died in a roadside bomb blast in Iraq, his mother said.
According to The Associated Press, Holly Burson said casualty notification officers told her that her son, Pfc. Jerome Potter, was killed Thursday while on patrol in Baghdad.
Potter was based at Fort Hood, Texas, and went to Iraq in October.
The Department of Defense had not announced Potter's death as of early Sunday afternoon.
Potter's family said he grew up in Yelm and Olympia, attending Yelm High School before joining the Job Corps, where he got his GED.
He worked as a forestry firefighter for a couple of years and had aspired to use money he earned in the military to become a park ranger when he finished his enlistment.
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.