CHRISTIANSBURG, VA, USA U.S. Army SGT, COMPANY A, 1ST BATTALION, 14TH INFANTRY, 2 BCT, SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HI BALAD, IRAQ 08/10/2008
A Schofield Barracks soldier was killed in an explosion Sunday in Iraq, the Pentagon said yesterday. Sergeant Kenneth B. Gibson, 25, of Christiansburg, Va., died of wounds suffered in Tarmiyah, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his position during a foot patrol, the Pentagon said.
He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.
Gibson, who was a member of Hawaii’s Stryker brigade, joined the Army in March 2002 and was assigned to Schofield Barracks in August 2002, officials in Hawaii said.
After an initial improvised explosive device detonated, a team of soldiers was sent to investigate, the U.S. command said. Shortly after the team arrived, a suicide attack occurred and was followed by small-arms fire.
The attacks also wounded two U.S. soldiers, 15 Iraqi civilians, three Iraqi policemen and three members of the “Sons of Iraq,” Sunni Arabs working with U.S. forces to maintain security. Witnesses and police said the bombers were a group of men disguised as members of the Awakening, another name for the Sons of Iraq, the Los Angeles Times reported. The men entered the house ostensibly to search it, but planted bombs.
After the first blast, Iraqi and U.S. forces arrived, the Times said. The suicide bomber mingled with the crowd and detonated explosives worn in a vest.
Kenneth B. Gibson was too sweet for words – just listen to his one-time baby sitter, Sabrina Scaggs. He was an irresistible, gotta-love-him kind of guy, she said. You had to love him, because he was just adorable, she said. Absolutely adorable.
A teacher at Christiansburg High School, from where Gibson graduated, said he had always noticed that Gibson possessed leadership qualities.His decision to join the Army didn’t surprise me at all, said Dan Swafford. Gibson was a hard worker who always tended to his assignments and was somewhat quiet, Swafford said.
Nikki Gibson said her husband was an extraordinary person who always knew how to make people smile. When he had free time, he’d always be glued to a PlayStation video game, she said.
He never wanted anyone to be unhappy, she said. Basically, he’d do anything in order to make someone happy regardless of whether he knew you for five minutes or if he knew you a lifetime.