Texas soldier killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

A Texas soldier was killed in Iraq when his unit came under direct fire during combat operations, the Defense Department announced Nov. 28.

Sgt. William B. Meeuwsen, 21, of Kingwood, Texas, died Nov. 23 in Baghdad, along with 25-year-old Staff Sgt. Aram J. Bass of Niagara Falls, N.Y. Their deaths were being reviewed as a possible friendly-fire incidents, the military said.

Both were assigned to the Second Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, Second Brigade Combat Team, of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Meeuwsen entered the Army in October 2002 and arrived at Fort Campbell in April 2004. He is survived by his wife, Lauren, of Fort Bliss, Texas, and his parents, Michael and Thresa Meeuwsen of Kingwood, Texas.

Meeuwsen’s family issued a statement through Fort Campbell Monday night saying they understood he died trying to help wounded members of his unit to safety.

“Bill was a good soldier whose first priority was the safety of those he served with,” the statement said. “In addition, Bill was a wonderful son, brother and husband.”

At least 182 Texas service members have died in Iraq since the war began in March 2003, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Meanwhile, a soldier stationed at Fort Hood died over the weekend from a gunshot wound suffered near the military training area, post officials said. Pfc. Steven M.P. Kolski, 19, of Peoria, Ariz., died Nov. 26 at Darnall Army Community Hospital.

The shooting was not training-related and was under investigation, Fort Hood spokesman Dan Hassett said. Officials would not say whether it appeared Kolski shot himself or if another person may have been involved.

Kolski, who joined the Army in June 2004, was a track vehicle repairer assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division.