Four die

Afghan attack kills SC soldier

jwilkinson@thestate.comJune 20, 2013 

Spc. Ember M. Alt, 21, a member of the 4th Infantry Division based at Fort Carson, Colo., who was from Beech Island, was killed Tuesday with three others when their unit was attacked with indirect fire in Bagram, Afghanistan, according to a Department of Defense release.

Also killed were Spc. Robert W. Ellis, 21, of Kennewick, Wash., and Spc. William R. Moody, 30, of Burleson, Texas, who were assigned to Alt’s 68th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, and Sgt. Justin R. Johnson, 25, of Hobe Sound, Fla., assigned to the 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade, Fort Eustis, Va.

Alt, a wheeled vehicle mechanic, joined the Army on May 18, 2011, and arrived at Fort Carson on Nov. 18, 2011. She was deployed to Afghanistan on Nov. 26, 2012.

During her two years in the service, she was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Medal.

The deaths come nearly one year to the day after three S.C. National Guard soldiers were killed in Afghanistan.

On June 20, 2012, 1st Lt. Ryan Davis Rawl, 30, of Lexington; Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Bradford Thomas, 30, of Easley; and Spc. John David Meador II, 36, of Columbia were killed in Khowst City, Khowst Province, Afghanistan by a suicide bomber. They were assigned to the 133rd Military Police Company, headquartered in Timmonsville.

Five other S.C. National Guard soldiers were also wounded in the 2012 attack.

Since 2001, 46 soldiers with ties to South Carolina have died in combat in Afghanistan.

Alt is the fourth S.C. soldier to die this year in Afghanistan:

•  Inez Baker, 51, civilian contractor and Army veteran, was killed March 8 in northeastern Afghanistan when three men dressed in Afghan National Guard uniforms opened fire on U.S. troops. Baker had served six tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as an active duty soldier.

• Chief Warrant Officer Curtis S. Reagan, 43, of Summerville, died March 29 from an illness that was not related to combat. Reagan was assigned to the 603rd Aviation Support Battalion, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. He was based at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah.

• Capt. James Michael Steel, 29, of Tampa, Fla., died April 3 when his F-16 crashed near Bagram Airfield while returning to base from a close air support mission. Steel was assigned to the 77th Fighter Squadron, 20th Fighter Wing, known as the Gamblers, based at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter.

Alt, a wheeled vehicle mechanic, joined the Army on May 18, 2011, and arrived at Fort Carson on Nov. 18, 2011. She was deployed to Afghanistan on Nov. 26, 2012.

During her two years in the service, she was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Medal.

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