Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Army 1st Lt. Donald Carwile

Clarion Ledger

A 101st Airborne Division officer from Oxford was killed in Afghanistan after his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb and attacked by insurgents, military officials said Tuesday.

Army 1st Lt. Donald Carwile, 29, died Friday along with Pfc. Paul Conlon Jr., 21, of Somerville, Mass., the Department of Defense said in a news release.

After being struck by the bomb, their vehicle came under attack from small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.

Carwile, a former police officer, is survived by his widow, Jennifer, and daughters Reese, 5, and Avery Claire, 3.

"He wanted so much to protect me, to take care of me, and the same thing with the girls," his wife told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. "He took that with him into the military."

Carwile spent time in the Army soon after graduating from high school but left to follow his father, grandfather and uncle into law enforcement. He worked for a time as a patrol officer with the Batesville Police Department and later joined the Oxford Police Department, where he worked from 2004-06.

"He was a good officer," Oxford Police Chief Mike Martin said Tuesday.

Martin said Carwile was a seasoned officer "who would do anything we needed him to."

"He liked to pick and have fun like anybody else," Martin said. "You have to have a sense of humor to do this job."

In 2006 he opted to re-enlist in the Army, this time qualifying for Officer Candidate School.

"He cared so much about the men in his platoon," Jennifer Carwile said. "He always said his first goal was to bring his men home and his second was to come home himself."

Jennifer Carwile said she knew the near future would be painful for her and her children but said she'd would find comfort in her faith and the love they shared.

"Every time we talked on the phone, he told me he loved me. And he loved his little girls so much," she told the newspaper. "And he was a Christian. I know he's in heaven now."

The soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky.

The Mississippi Patriot Guard have been invited to attend.

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