William A. Allers III
Staff Sergeant, United States Army
NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Staff Sergeant William A. Allers III, 28, of Leitchfield, Kentucky, died in the vicinity of Khalis, north of Baghdad, Iraq, on September 20, 2005, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his convoy vehicle. Allers was assigned to the Army National Guard's 198th Military Police Battalion, 75th Troop Command, Louisville, Kentucky.
For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.
Flags at all state office buildings are at half-staff again, this time in honor of the latest Kentucky National Guard soldier, the eighth, to be killed in Iraq -- Staff Sergeant William A. Allers III, 28, of Leitchfield, Kentucky.
Allers was killed and two other Kentucky Guard soldiers were wounded Tuesday when their armored humvee hit a roadside bomb near Al Khalis during a patrol. All three were assigned to the Guard's 617th Military Police Company based in Richmond with a detachment in Bowling Green. An interpreter with them was not hurt.
The company was deployed to Iraq last November and is scheduled to return home in 35 to 40 days.
Names of the wounded were not released but Adjutant General Donald C. Storm said both are expected to recover. They were transported to Landstuhl, Germany, for treatment, and their families have been notified.
William Allers of Falston, Maryland, last saw his son in July.
"He was serving his country," Allers said of his son. "He did not enjoy Baghdad, but he liked the people and especially the children there."
Governor Ernie Fletcher, who directed yesterday that flags be lowered to half-staff until sunset on the day of Allers' funeral, said in a statement that he extended his "deepest sympathies" to the soldier's family.
Allers' death marks the second in the last week of a Kentucky soldier. Last Friday, Sergeant Matthew L. Deckard, 29, of Elizabethtown, was killed in a roadside bombing while on patrol in Baghdad. Deckard, who was on his second tour in Iraq, was part of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division.
Kentucky currently has 1,422 Guard soldiers in Iraq and about 100 in Afghanistan. An additional 491 are on duty providing relief to the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast.
Storm said Allers has been posthumously promoted to the rank of staff sergeant along with being presented the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge.
Originally from Baltimore, Allers is survived by his wife, Bethany, and two children. He joined the Kentucky Army National Guard in September 2003 after serving with the U.S. Army and worked in Leitchfield for an office supply business.
Storm released a statement from Captain Todd Lindner, commander of the 617th MP Company in Iraq: "Staff Sergeant Allers worked hard to keep high morale in his team and was a catalyst for the morale in our entire company. His absence is deeply missed by all of his fellow soldiers."
Allers is the second from the 617th Military
Police Company to be killed in Iraq. Specialist Michael Hayes of Morgantown
died June 14, 2005.
A Kentucky National Guard soldier killed in Iraq last week will be remembered at a memorial service tomorrow in Leitchfield, Kentucky.
William Alvin Allers III died when his Humvee was hit with a roadside bomb. Two other Kentucky guardsmen were wounded in the attack near Al Khalis, about 40 miles north of Baghdad.
The 28-year-old Allers was assigned to the Guard's 617th Military Police Company. The Baltimore, Maryland, native was the eighth member of the Kentucky National Guard to die in the Iraq war.
Allers' funeral will be at ten am eastern
time Monday at Mountain Christian Church in Joppa, Maryland. Burial will
be Tuesday in Arlington National Cemetery.
Staff Sergeant William Allers the Third was assigned to the Army National Guard's 198th Military Police Battalion, 75th Troop Command. Allers died north of Baghdad on September 20th when an improvised explosive device detonated near his convoy vehicle.
Allers' father, 8-year-old son, grandmother, brother and pregnant widow attended the ceremony.
Leitchfield said goodbye to one of its own Wednesday in a memorial service for Staff Sergeant William Alvin (Bill) Allers III, the latest casualty of the Iraq War.
Allers, who was promoted posthumously to Staff Sergeant, was killed September 20, 2005, by a roadside bomb near Al Kahalis, Iraq.
He was a member of the Kentucky National Guard, and left work at OFS Styline September 20, 2004, with his military police unit for Iraq. He had been scheduled to return to Kentucky in November.
"There is a special place for those brave soldiers who give their lives for freedom," said Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who flew to Leitchfield to attend the memorial service at Post 81, American Legion.
Originally from Maryland, Allers moved to Grayson County after his marriage to Bethany Wilson of Leitchfield.
A sister-in-law Crystal Wilson called Allers "my hero."
"He was kind of goofy," she said, "since I've seen him walk out on the ice of a pond and shoot the ice to see how far the buckshot would go into it."
"But he was kind and caring, and he was a friend and a leader," she said. "The last time I talked to him, he told me he would be back in November, said everything was going to be all right..."
Allers, 28, had taken part in several battles in Iraq and took part in at least 150 combat patrols. Two other soldiers were wounded in the bomb attack on Allers' humvee while the three were on patrol north of Baghdad.
Members of Allers' 617th Military Police Battalion attended the memorial service, and Major General Donald Storm, Kentucky's adjutant general, said Allers' death "will not deter the Guard's resolve to carry out our mission in Iraq."
"Everyone in the Guard understands that this is all about bringing hope to over 50 million of God's creatures in Afghanistan and Iraq," he said.
Allers' funeral will be held in Maryland, and he will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. In addition to his wife of Leitchfield, he is survived by a son, Gregory, in Pennsylvania.
In a brief, somber funeral yesterday, family and friends gathered to remember Staff Sgt. William A. Allers III, a soldier who grew up in Fallston and was killed in Iraq last month when his Humvee was struck by a roadside bomb.
Family members wept as they watched images chronicling Allers' life flash on a screen above his flag-draped casket as "God Bless the U.S.A." played in Mountain Christian Church in Fallston.
Allers, 28, was a month away from returning from Iraq, where he was serving as a member of the Kentucky National Guard and had taken part in more than two dozen battles with insurgents, according to Guard officials. He was posthumously promoted to staff sergeant.
A family liaison said Allers' wife, who did not attend the service, is pregnant. He also had an 8-year-old son from a previous marriage.
"He was dedicated to what he put his mind to," said the Rev. Scott Schlotfelt, the only person who spoke at the ceremony. "And, on his last day on this earth, he was dedicated to serving his country."
Allers was remembered as a rambunctious child who was "always getting into something," recalled Joe Gibbons, a close friend of Allers' father, after the service. He enjoyed climbing trees, fishing and playing with the neighborhood children, Gibbons said.
Those in attendance chuckled as Schlotfelt told how Allers and two friends used to ride their Big Wheels off 4-foot jumps -- earning them the nickname "The Dukes of Hazzard" -- and how he once came inside after playing in what he thought was mud. It turned out to be compost.
Allers had always had an interest in the Army and enlisted before graduating from Fallston High School in 1995.
"He was doing what he thought was right. He gave his life for what he believed in," said Dan Wagner, 29, who grew up next door to Allers.
Allers spent eight years on active duty as a cavalry scout and settled in Kentucky after his discharge in 2003, joining the National Guard and taking a job at an office-supply business. His first marriage ended in divorce, and he remarried last year.
On Sept. 20, Allers was on a mission near Al Khalis, about 40 miles north of Baghdad, when his Humvee was struck by a roadside bomb. The driver and the gunner in the vehicle survived and were taken to Germany for treatment.
Schlotfelt told those in attendance that Allers' leadership might have saved the lives of many members of his unit.
"That day, he insisted all of them have on their gear," he said. "In the desert heat, Bill's decision might not have been popular, but he was a leader."
Maj. Gen. Donald C. Storm, adjutant general for Kentucky, who attended the service and spoke to family members in a private ceremony, said that between helping his fellow soldiers and Iraqi civilians, Allers might have helped hundreds or thousands of people while he was deployed. Allers was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
Storm called Allers an American hero, a first-rate soldier and a consummate professional. "He will be remembered as someone who had the personal courage to stand up and serve a cause bigger than oneself," Storm said.
Allers' father, William A. Allers Jr., said his family is not pro-war but supports the mission in Iraq.
"There's a time for war, and there's a time for peace," he said. "The world needs to get together to stop these people from doing what they're doing. The U.S. isn't going to do it all."
And while he said the Purple Heart is an honor for his son, he said it came with a deadly consequence.
"It's nice, but it's bad when you have to give your life for it," he said.
Allers also was honored in a memorial service in western Kentucky last week, and will be buried today at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
Posted: 27 September 2005 Updated: 4 October 2005 Updated: 26 December 2005
Photo Courtesy of Holly, December 2005