Mississippi Solider Dies In Iraq

A Mississippi native who was medic of the 5th Special Forces Group was killed Monday in an attack on his convoy in Iraq. 27 year old Staff Sgt. Aaron Holleyman died when his vehicle hit a land mine, his grandmother, Sylvia Carpenter of Monticello, told the Enterprise-Journal on Tuesday.

He was one of four soldiers in the last vehicle in the convoy. Three other soldiers suffered minor injuries. The 5th Special Forces Group is based in Fort Campbell, Ky. Holleyman is the son of Ross and Glenda Holleyman of Carthage. ``The only point that I want to get across is that we fully supported what Aaron was over there doing,'' Glenda Holleyman said Tuesday. Ross Holleyman said the military notified the family Monday of their son's death. He said his son had suffered some hearing loss during an earlier incident and would not have been required to go back to Iraq but had volunteered. The family said services were pending.

Holleyman was the father of three children, ages 5, 3 and 1. Sylvia Carpenter said the children live in Fayetteville, N.C., with their mother. Sylvia Carpenter said Holleyman had just returned to Iraq in July after being stateside for treatment of injuries received earlier in Iraq. He received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service. ``He had two close calls last year,'' Sylvia Carpenter said. In 2003, Holleyman was in a vehicle accident in Iraq and saved the life of one of the soldiers. He also was injured in a separate accident, she said. ``Aaron loved what he was doing. It really was close to his heart,'' she said. ``He felt proud to be doing what he was doing. From the way everything has happened and his attitude, he's just our hero.'' Monticello Mayor Dave Nichols said the flag in front of City Hall was at half-staff in honor of Holleyman.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)