Neil Armstrong Prince
Sergeant First Class, United States Army
June 13, 2005
Media Contact: Army Public Affairs - (703) 692-2000 Public/Industry Contact: (703)428-0711
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died June 11 in Al Taqaddum, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near their military vehicle.
Specialist Casey Byers, 22, of Schleswig, Iowa. Byers was assigned to the Army National Guard's 224th Engineer Battalion, Ottumwa, Iowa.
Sergeant First Class Neil A. Prince, 35, of Baltimore, Maryland. Prince was assigned to the Army's 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.
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Thirty-five-year-old Sergeant First Class Neil Prince of Baltimore was killed June eleventh by a roadside bomb. He leaves behind a wife of nearly ten years and a four-year-old son.
Prince, who was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, was a month away from the end of his tour in Iraq when he died.
His wife, Suzette, says she's angry about the circumstances that led to her husband's death. Prince was on an unusual trip out of the safe zone when a bomb exploded directly beneath his armored Humvee.
Prince was the 148th person killed in Iraq
to be buried at Arlington.
Sregeant First Class Neil Armstrong Prince, a native of Jamaica who grew up in Baltimore, was buried Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery, 11 days after being killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq.
"I could put him in charge of anything and he could handle the mission," said Command Sergeant Major Dwight Morrisey, Prince's former First Sergeant at Fort Hood, Texas. "I wouldn't be surprised if he was actually in charge of that convoy someday."
Prince, 35, died June 11 in Al Taqaddum, Iraq.
After the firing of 21 shots, soldiers handed American flags to his father, Cecil Prince, and his widow, the former Suzette McLeod, who held their 4-year-old son on her lap.
"You hear about soldiers dying every day and you feel bad, but you're so far removed until it hits you yourself," Prince's youngest sister, Shane Prince, 32, told The Washington Post.
Prince joined the Army after graduating from City College in 1989. As a chief fire control sergeant in the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo., Prince arranged the transportation of weapons to troops in combat, Morrisey said.
"He is like the brains of the artillery," Morrisey said. If military units needed firepower, "He was the one that would send it."
Earlier Tuesday, during a service at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Staff Sergeant Keith Gavin said Prince was on a path to becoming a great military leader.
"He loved training troops," Gavin told The (Baltimore) Sun after the service. Gavin had befriended Prince while both were at Fort Hood in 1999. "He was direct and fair."
The service at the Main Post Chapel at APG is believed to be the first at the proving ground for a soldier killed during the war in Iraq, The Sun reported. APG officials could not recall the previous funeral there for an active-duty soldier.
"We seldom ever have a funeral here (because) we have such a small contingent of active-duty soldiers," said Patricia McClung, a spokeswoman at the proving ground.
Suzette Prince, 31, a nurse at Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic at APG, said she met her husband as an Army medic. She spoke of him as a man who adored their son, Jordan.
"Number one, he loved his son," she said after the service in Aberdeen. "He wanted everything for his son."
She and Jordan are living with the sergeant's parents in Forest Hill in Harford County.
Prince will be awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart posthumously, a cemetery spokeswoman said.