This article is provided courtesy of Stars and Stripes, which got its start as a newspaper for Union troops during the Civil War, and has been published continuously since 1942 in Europe and 1945 in the Pacific. Stripes reporters have been in the field with American soldiers, sailors and airmen in World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo, and are now on assignment in the Middle East.
Stars and Stripes has one of the widest distribution ranges of any newspaper in the world. Between the Pacific and European editions, Stars and Stripes services over 50 countries where there are bases, posts, service members, ships, or embassies.
Stars and Stripes Website
The Department of Defense identified a 38-year-old U.S. soldier based at Fort Knox as the servicemember killed by an insurgent attack Saturday in eastern Afghanistan.
Sgt. 1st Class William K. Lacey died from injuries received during a rocket-propelled grenade attack in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, according to the DOD release. His death marks the first combat loss of 2014 for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.
There were three insurgent attacks Jan. 4 in Afghanistan, one at the military base in Nangarhar and two others later in Kabul that caused no casualties, according to the ISAF.
Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a Nangarhar provincial government spokesman, said Saturday the gun battle between insurgents and coalition and Afghan forces went on for about 40 minutes. He said that no Afghan troops were killed or injured in the attack.
Lacey, from Laurel, Fla., was a vehicle mechanic assigned to the 201st Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Knox.
“He was brave beyond brave,” his father, John Lacey, said to the Northwest Florida Daily News. “He was out there in the middle of nowhere, in hell, and he kept doing it over and over and over ... I’m just so proud of him.”
This was his fifth deployment overall and second in Afghanistan, according to Fort Knox public affairs.
A different death in Afghanistan of a U.S. Marine, Sgt. Jacob M. Hess, was reported Jan. 1 but not called a combat fatality by the DOD. That incident is currently under investigation.
-- Heath Druzin and Zubair Babakarkhail contributed to this report.