First US soldier killed in ISIS fight to be honored at upcoming memorial service

wheelerMaster Sergeant Joshua Wheeler, the first American to die in Iraq in the fight against Islamic State militants, will be honored later this month in a memorial service.

The service will take place Nov. 24  in the eastern Oklahoma town of Muldrow, where Wheeler went to high school, according to The Associated Press.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is seen in the photo below greeting the flag-draped coffin carrying Wheeler’s remains at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

Wheeler, a heavily decorated soldier who had 14 combat deployments and earned 11 Bronze Star medals, including four with valor, was killed last month when U.S. special forces assisted Iraqi forces in a raid on an ISIS compound near the city of Kirkuk, the AP reported.

Approximately 70 Iraqi prisoners were freed from captivity during the raid.


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Kurdish Peshmerga special forces led the raid and were supported by the elite U.S. Delta Force soldiers, who were there to advise and assist — Wheeler died when he was shot coming to the aid of pinned-down Kurdish forces.

Wheeler, 39, joined the U.S. Army in 1995, a year after high school. He was married and the father of four sons.

Tom Tillison


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