FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A 19-year-old Kentucky National Guard
soldier was killed in Iraq when his vehicle overturned during a
mission, military officials said Tuesday.
Pfc. Sammie E. Phillips of Vine Grove was the third Kentucky
guardsman to die in about two weeks while deployed in Iraq or
Two other Kentucky guardsmen were injured in the crash that
killed Phillips on Monday, the Guard said. The injured soldiers
were not identified.
Phillips' unit commander, Capt. Robert S. Mattingly, said
Phillips was "an excellent soldier who had unlimited potential."
"I never met a person that didn't like Sammie Phillips,"
Phillips, a 2006 graduate of North Hardin High School, was
assigned to Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery, based
in Carlisle. He joined the Kentucky Army National Guard last year
and deployed with his unit last month.
Phillips is survived by his wife, Ashley, as well as his mother,
stepfather and father.
Kentucky's adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Donald C. Storm, said
Phillips was riding in a military vehicle headed to a traffic
control point when a civilian vehicle swerved into its path. The
military vehicle took "evasive action," struck a culvert and
overturned, he said.
Storm, who spoke with reporters following a ceremony
commemorating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, became choked
with emotion while talking about Phillips, calling him "a
tremendous young soldier that had just tremendous potential."
Funeral arrangements for Phillips are pending.
Phillips was the 16th Kentucky guardsman killed in Iraq or
Two other soldiers have been killed in just over two weeks -
Staff Sgt. Nicholas Carnes died Aug. 26 during a fire fight in
Afghanistan and Staff Sgt. Delmar White died Sept. 1 when a
roadside bomb exploded while he and other soldiers were escorting a
convoy in Iraq.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)