Local Sergeant Killed In Iraq by Road Bomb
Frankfort - One Kentucky National Guard Soldier was killed and two were wounded when their armored Humvee encountered an improvised explosive device (IED) near Al Khalis, Iraq on Tuesday (Sept. 20). Killed was William Alvin Allers, 28, Leitchfield. Allers was assigned to the Kentucky Army National Guard’s 617th Military Police Company, based in Richmond with a detachment in Bowling Green.
The 617th MP Company mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom in October of 2004 and deployed to Southwest Asia that November.
The injured soldiers were transported to Landstuhl, Germany for treatment of their injuries. (Military regulations prohibit the identification of wounded personnel.)allers headstone
Originally from Baltimore, MD, Allers is survived by his wife, and two children. He joined the Kentucky Army National Guard in September of 2003 after serving with the U. S. Army and worked in Leitchfield for an office supply business.
He has been posthumously promoted to the rank of staff sergeant along with being presented the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart and the Combat Action Badge.
“The death of Staff Sergeant Allers is a tragedy for his family, the Army National Guard and the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Major General Donald C. Storm, Adjutant General for Kentucky. “He was a fine soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice for his nation. His family is in our prayers and we will continue to support them throughout their time of grief.”
In a statement delivered from Iraq, Capt. Todd Linder, commander of the 617th MP Company, praised Allers, saying, “Staff Sergeant Allers distinguished himself with exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service to our nation. His team was responsible for providing main supply route security, convoy escort security, area security, quick response force missions, and recovery asset security. This same team successfully completed over 150 combat patrols, and 50 security escorts, surviving more than 25 engagements with the enemy. Staff Sergeant Allers worked hard to keep high morale in his team and was a catalyst for the moral in our entire company. His absence is deeply missed by all of his fellow soldiers.”
Allers is the eighth Kentucky Army National Guard soldier to lose his life in Iraq. He is the second from the 617th Military Police Company, the first being Sgt. Michael Hayes of Morganfield, Ky. who died on June 14.2005. Leitchfield conducted a memorial service honoring Sergeant Allers, his funeral was held in Maryland with burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
Ky. town pays tribute to fallen National Guard soldier
By Bruce Schreiner Associated Press
LEITCHFIELD, Ky. — A Kentucky National Guard soldier killed in Iraq was remembered by his grieving sister-in-law as a friend and hero as his adopted hometown paid tribute Wednesday at a memorial service to the sergeant who was in the thick of the fighting.
William Alvin Allers III, who was posthumously promoted to staff sergeant, died last week when his Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb about 40 miles north of Baghdad.
Allers, 28, had taken part in more than two dozen battles with Iraqi insurgents while participating in 150 combat patrols and 50 security escorts, according to Guard officials.
Crystal Wilson wrote a tribute to her brother-in-law for the memorial service attended by about 150 people at the American Legion Post 81 in this western Kentucky town.
Wilson, 23, was too choked with emotion to read the tribute. She wept and leaned her head on the shoulder of another mourner who read Wilson's words.
“He wasn't just a brother-in-law,” said Regina Talley, reading Wilson's tribute. Talley's son is in Allers’ unit, the 617th Military Police Company.
“He was a friend, a leader and most of all, my hero. He will forever be missed and loved,” Wilson wrote.
Gov. Ernie Fletcher praised Allers as a “model soldier” and “one of Kentucky's best.”
“He showed incredible bravery under fire, truly a leader,” said Fletcher, who earlier in the day attended a departure ceremony in Madisonville for 50 Kentucky Guard soldiers headed to Iraq.
In the Sept. 20 blast that killed Allers, two other Kentucky Guardsmen were injured, the military said. They were flown to Landstuhl, Germany, for treatment of their injuries and were expected to recover.
Maj. Gen. Donald Storm, Kentucky's adjutant general, also praised Allers’ bravery, and said the tragedy would not diminish the Guard’s resolve to carry out its mission in Iraq.
“Every member of the Kentucky National Guard truly understands that what this is all about is bringing hope and opportunity to 54 million of God's creatures that just so happen to live in Afghanistan and Iraq,” Storm said.
Allers, a native of Baltimore, Md., was the eighth Kentucky National Guardsman to die in the Iraq war. Allers was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Wilson said in her tribute that Allers talked about his “close calls” in Iraq.
Bob Wenner said in an interview that he talked with Allers, his friend and co-worker at a plant that makes office furniture parts, when Allers visited Leitchfield this summer.
Wenner said Allers was upbeat and believed in his mission in Iraq.
“He said he almost felt like he was invincible because of the new armor on the Humvees,” said Wenner, an Army veteran who served in the first Iraq war. “He had two Hummers blow out from underneath him and he was on his third set of body armor. He said if he survived all that, he was good to go.”
Wenner said Allers loved fast cars and got to drive his Mustang during his visit.
“He did get a chance to leave some black tire marks out in the front of my house,” Wenner said, laughing. “He didn't want to, but I was teasing him about it, saying he couldn't do it. He did it.”
Allers’ funeral will be Monday at Mountain Christian Church in Joppa, Md. Burial is scheduled for Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery.
Allers graduated from Fallston (Md.) High School in 1995, according to his family. He enlisted in the Army while still in high school and joined the Kentucky Guard in September 2003.
More than 1,400 Kentucky Guard soldiers are deployed in Iraq and more than 100 in Afghanistan. Allers’ unit is scheduled to return home in late October or early November, according to the Guard.
A total of 31 service members with Kentucky hometowns of record have died in the Iraq war, including the Guard members. In addition, more than 60 soldiers based at Fort Campbell, home to the 101st Airborne Division, have died in the war.
Soldier killed in Iraq missed by many
Iraqi children loved seeing William A. Allers III on patrol. That meant fun things were going to happen.
“The soldiers handed out stationery, candy and gum. It opened up a whole new world to them. He was ecstatic that he was doing something good,” said younger brother Dave Allers.
Allers, 28, of Leitchfield, Ky., was killed Sept. 20 by a roadside bomb near Khalis. He was based at Louisville.
As a child, Allers showed deep interest in history, particularly in World War II and the Vietnam War, his brother said. He also loved to fish.
“He was a carefree kid. He liked clowning around,” said his father, William Allers Jr.
“But he liked to work hard.”
In high school, Allers excelled in track, capturing medals in state competitions. In 1995, during his senior year, he signed up for the Army. In 2003, he left to become a machinist at an office furniture company.
“His friends looked up to him. The people who worked with him adored him. He's going to be missed by a lot of people,” said his brother.
He also is survived by his wife, Bethany their 7-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son from his first marriage.
HONORING OUR ARMED FORCES - Staff Sergeant William A. Allers, III
Congressional Record Volume 152, Number 21 (Friday, February 17, 2006) [Pages S1456-S1457]
Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I come to the floor today to reflect on the tremendous dedication and sacrifice that our country's soldiers exhibit every day. In particular, I want to call to my colleagues' attention a personal portrait of a young man who laid down his life defending freedom--a freedom this country has known for centuries, and that the people of Iraq have recently embraced.
While words cannot soothe the anguish of those who knew and loved him, they can help explain the heroism of his sacrifice, and so we pause today to remember and celebrate the life of SSG William A. Allers, III.
Sergeant Allers was accustomed to combat situations, as the battle-hardened veteran of more than 150 combat patrols and 50 security escorts while serving in Iraq. In fact, Sergeant Allers served valiantly in more than 25 combat engagements in his time there.
On Tuesday, September 20, 2005, a Kentucky National Guard armored Humvee ran over an improvised explosive device on a dusty road near Al Khalis, Iraq--a dangerous city located within the Sunni Triangle, known as the hideout of killers and criminals who kidnap innocents for ransom. The Guard unit was patrolling the streets of this city, located about 40 miles north of Baghdad, when they were attacked. Three soldiers from the distinguished 617th Military Police Company were in the Humvee. Of the three, two were injured, and Sergeant Allers was killed. He was 28 years old.
For his service to a grateful Nation, Sergeant Allers was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Combat Action Badge. He had also received the Army Commendation Medal and the Kentucky Distinguished Service Medal. His commanding officer, Captain Todd Lindner, made clear to all that the 617th Military Police Company had lost an outstanding soldier. ``Bill worked hard to keep high morale in his team,'' Capt. Lindner said, ``and was a catalyst for the morale in our entire company.''
To fully appreciate the impact Bill Allers had on those around him, however, it helps to know something about how he grew up. Billy, as he was known as a kid, was an adventurer. His father, William Allers II, has said that if there was a puddle of water, you would find Billy playing in it. A neighborhood friend of Bill's added, ``if you [went] to look for Billy, you found him up in a tree.''
Through this sense of adventure, Billy earned his childhood nickname. One day when Billy was about 4 or 5, his dad brought home a truckload of mushroom soil for the vegetable garden. Out of pure luck, this pile was deposited at the end of the long driveway of the Allers' home--and to Billy and his best friend, it had all the makings of a great jump ramp.
Before Mr. Allers had time to finish a glass of ice water inside the house, the two boys lined up their Big Wheels, sped down the blacktop and launched themselves nearly six feet into the air. Ever since that intrepid stunt, whenever they were seen together, the two were called the ``Dukes of Hazzard'' Boys. Billy's father jokes that this experience taught him that his son was a true ``country boy.''
Growing up, Bill Allers impressed people not only with his daredevil Big Wheel jumps, but also with his big heart and ability to lead others. During Bill's 4 years on the Fallston High School track team, in Fallston, MD, where he grew up, his strength of character began to shine through. His high school track coach put it this way: ``As we went through the 4 years, he molded into a leader, and he wanted to be part of the team, and he wanted the team to do as well as possible, and [he] would always encourage the younger participants when he became one of the seniors.''
Coach Greg Thompson went on to say, ``He was selfless. He just was for everyone else and he wanted to see everybody else excel. And he wasn't worried about himself.''
A truly gifted athlete, Bill mastered the high jump. He was also the ``anchor'' of the two-twenty and four-forty relay teams, meaning he was the one to carry the baton for the final stretch toward the finish line. If the relay team was behind, they trusted Bill to make up the ground and win the race.
Bill took pride in his team and his role on it, and he worked very hard to become the best competitor he could be. Evidently, he mastered that too, because Bill's relay team won medals at the Maryland High School State Championships in 1994.
When he was not running track, Bill worked part-time for a local landscaping and nursery company in Fallston. Part-time might not be a fair description, however, since it was all his parents could do to keep him from working 40 hours a week. Bill loved digging his hands into the soil and working to improve the environment that surrounded him.
In Iraq, that urge to build and create gave Bill his greatest joy--the gratitude the Iraqis had for the work he and his squad were doing to restore their country. A few months before Sergeant Allers reached his final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery, on a peaceful slope in a section reserved for those honored soldiers who have fallen in Iraq, he told his family about the work he was doing to restore that desert nation.
Bill's father said that Bill took great comfort from the gratitude the children of Baghdad showed to the American soldiers. His younger brother, Dave Allers, added, ``He told us the kids over there really adored seeing soldiers out there. The soldiers handed out stationery, candy and gum. It opened up a whole new world to them. [Bill] was ecstatic that he was doing something good.''
Sergeant Allers's love of the great outdoors also explains his affinity for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Bill may have grown up in Maryland, but he was first exposed to the Bluegrass State when he was assigned to Fort Knox, KY, to learn the tradecraft of the cavalry scout.
After serving a tour of duty that took him around the world and back, Bill decided to leave active-duty Army life and make Leitchfield, KY, his home. He was captivated by our rolling hills, champion horses, and friendly people. Wanting to continue his service to our country, he also decided to join the Kentucky National Guard, where he served with distinction until his final sacrifice.
Mr. President, in just these few short words I think I've made clear that this was a young man who gave so much of himself to better the lives of those around him. Now he is gone. We wish we could ease the grief of his family: his father, William, his brother, Dave, and his grandmother, Virginia, who have joined us today in the gallery, and his 9-year-old son, Gregory.
I hope their heartache is tempered by the knowledge that America will forever celebrate Sergeant Allers's heroism, and his sacrifice. As will the Iraqi children he safeguarded. And his courage, his bonds of love and friendship, and his spirit will not be forgotten.