U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1086-10
November 24, 2010
DOD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died November 22, 2010, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device. They were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Staff Setegeant Sean M. Flannery, 29, of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania
Specialist William K. Middleton, 26, of Norfolk, Virginia
For more information the media may contact the Fort Campbell Public Affairs Office at 270-798-3025.
A 2007 graduate of Old Dominion University from Richmond who went on to join the Army has been killed in an explosion in Afghanistan.
Specialist William Middleton, 26, studied communication at ODU, then joined the Army in 2009. An infantryman who went by his middle name, Kyle, Middleton had been in Afghanistan about six months.
He graduated from L.C Bird High School in Chesterfield County in 2002, brother Zach Middleton said.
The Department of Defense said Middleton died Monday in Kandahar province of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.
“He joined the Army because he liked being part of a team — he loved camaraderie,” said his mother, Marlene Blackburn, of Richmond. “And he wanted colorful stories to tell his grandchildren.”
Blackburn said her son was an accomplished soccer player. As a boy he traveled all over for tournaments, including to Holland when he was 12. During his junior year at ODU, he studied abroad and played soccer in England.
“After soccer, I think he missed being part of a team,” Blackburn said. “He decided the Army was what he wanted, and he’s the kind of person who always follows through. So he did it.”
After college, he stayed in the Norfolk area for a few years, and when he joined the military came back to Richmond, Zach Middleton said.
Middleton was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. After serving as a radio operator he became a grenade launcher. His family was nervous about his deployment, but Middleton didn’t show any sign of nervousness, his brother said.
“He wanted to get in there and see some action. He knew what he was doing,” said Zach Middleton, noting his brother joined the military because he believed it was meaningful.
She said she last spoke to her son Saturday. “He said he’d just gotten the package I sent,” Blackburn said. “He sounded good — happy.”
Middleton’s body is scheduled to arrive at Dover Air Force in Dover, Delaware.
- CPL US ARMY
- DATE OF BIRTH: 04/21/1984
- DATE OF DEATH: 11/22/2010
- BURIED AT: SECTION 60 SITE 9669
- ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard