View Full Version : Servicewoman Dies of Wounds in Iraq

07-12-03, 03:31 AM
Servicewoman Dies of Wounds in Iraq

Associated Press
Saturday, July 12, 2003; Page A12

FORT CARSON, Colo., July 11 -- An Army sergeant killed by a gunshot wound in Iraq became the second U.S. servicewoman to die in the war.

Sgt. Melissa Valles, 26, of Eagle Pass, Tex., died Wednesday from noncombat injuries, according to the Defense Department. The accident in Balad, 55 miles north of Baghdad, is under investigation and details were not released.

On the same day, Sgt. 1st Class Dan H. Gabrielson, 39, of Spooner, Wis., was killed by hostile fire in Baqubah, Iraq, when the convoy he was traveling in came under attack. He was assigned to the 652nd Engineer Company, Ellsworth, Wis.

Valles was with the headquarters detachment of 64th Forward Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, Fort Carson officials said today.

"We know it is a gunshot wound to the abdomen. We just don't know the circumstances," said Lt. Col. Tom Budzyna, base spokesman.

The first woman to die in the Iraq war was Pfc. Lori Piestewa, 22, of Tuba City, Ariz., who was killed March 23. She was with Pfc. Jessica Lynch when their Humvee crashed into another vehicle.

Since May 1, when President Bush declared that major combat operations in Iraq had ended, 78 U.S. military personnel have died in Iraq, according to the Pentagon. A total of 216 U.S. troops have died since the beginning of operations in Iraq. The British government has reported 42 casualties.