Mississippi Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A 101st Airborne Division officer from Oxford was killed in Afghanistan after his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb and attacked by insurgents, military officials said Tuesday. Army 1st Lt. Donald C. Carwile, 29, died Aug. 15 along with another soldier, Pfc. Paul E. Conlon Jr., 21, of Somerville, Mass., the Department of Defense said Tuesday in a news release.

After being struck by the bomb, their vehicle came under attack from small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. Carwile, a former police officer, is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and daughters Reese, 5, and Avery Claire, 3. "He wanted so much to protect me, to take care of me, and the same thing with the girls," his wife told The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. "He took that with him into the military." Carwile spent time in the Army soon after graduating high school, but left to follow his father, grandfather and uncle into law enforcement. He worked for a time as a patrol officer with the Batesville Police Department, and later the Oxford Police Department.

In 2006 he opted to re-enlist in the Army, this time qualifying for Officer Candidate School. "He cared so much about the men in his platoon," Jennifer Carwile said. "He always said his first goal was to bring his men home, and his second was to come home himself." Jennifer Carwile said she knew the near future would be painful for her and her children, but she would find comfort in her faith and love they shared. "Every time we talked on the phone, he told me he loved me. And he loved his little girls so much," she told the newspaper. "And he was a Christian. I know he's in Heaven now." The soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)