Wood County soldier killed in Kuwait

Sgt. William Friese

From local reports

PARKERSBURG A soldier from Wood County was killed in a non-combat related incident in Kuwait, officials said on Saturday.

Sgt. William Friese, 30, Rockport, a member of the West Virginia Army National Guard, died Thursday at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the National Guard said. The incident remains under investigation.

He is survived by his wife, children, mother, sister and grandparents.

Eight servicemembers have been killed this year in the mission against ISIS, Stars and Stripes reported.

Friese was assigned to the 821st Engineer Company, 1092nd Engineer Battalion, 111th Engineer Brigade, in Summersville. He was a light-wheeled vehicle mechanic with the 821st.

He joined the National Guard in 2008 and served in the 821st Engineer Company or above at the 1092nd Engineer Battalion for his entire 12-year career, according to the Guard.

Statements have been issued by the governor, the adjutant general of the Guard and both West Virginia senators.

“Cathy and I are praying for William’s family and the entire National Guard family, and we ask all West Virginians to join with us,” Gov. Jim Justice said. “Everything we have we owe to the men and women who defend our country and protect our freedoms. We will do everything we can to provide support to his family and will never forget his service and sacrifice to this great state and our great nation.”

Among medals he received for military services are the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the NATO Afghanistan Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, West Virginia Emergency Service Ribbon and the West Virginia State Service Ribbon.

“The loss of William will be felt throughout our entire organization and on behalf of the men and women of the West Virginia National Guard, I extend my heartfelt condolences to William’s family, friends and those who served with him,” Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard, said.

“Our missions are inherently dangerous and not without risk, yet every day, our military members are prepared to defend our Nation in the most dangerous places in the world,” he said. “William represents the values and service to State and Nation that are the foundations of service in the National Guard. May we never forget Sgt. William Friese, his family or the legacy he leaves behind.”

West Virginia has a long history of service and sacrifice for the nation, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said. Friese was the “perfect example of that brave and selfless service,” she said.

“We send our thoughts, prayers and support to his family, friends and fellow Guardsmen and women during this difficult time,” Sen. Joe Manchin said.

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