JASPER, AR, USA U.S. Army SGT, HHT, 2D SQUADRON, 12TH CAVALRY, 4 BCT, FORT HOOD, TX BAGHDAD, IRAQ 04/21/2007
William W. Bushnell was a daredevil at a young age.
One time I went walking up the mountain, and Billy came up in his little white truck and asked me if I wanted to ride. We went FLYING up the mountain, said his aunt, Dorina Fonteno. I was laughing, but I was scared to death!
Bushnell, 24, of Jasper, Ark., was killed April 21 in Baghdad when his vehicle was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. He was assigned to Fort Bliss.
Billy was one of the most real, genuine, authentic people I’ve ever known. He was honest, trustworthy, and never judgmental; I could talk to him about anything, said a friend, Chris Clanton.
He was a 2001 high school graduate, went to Arkansas Tech for a semester and served in Afghanistan before he was deployed to Iraq. He loved the Rolling Stones.
He was just him, said his youngest sister Stephanie. What you saw was what you got with Billy. He was him, more than anyone I’ve ever met. In front of Mama, in front of Daddy, he was always himself. Billy was everybody’s jewel, Stephanie said.
Sergeant Bushnell was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Calvary Regiment, of the 1st Calvary Division in Fort Bliss, Texas. He enlisted in 2003 and first served in Afghanistan, then was deployed to Iraq in November 2006.
He is survived by his parents, Wesley and Peggy Bushnell, of Mount Sherman, Arkansas. According to his father, he “served proudly in the airborne infantry. That’s what he wanted to do when he joined and was proud to do it. His shoulder was hurt. . . and he went to a hospital in Kuwait. All he could think about was getting back to his comrades in Baghdad.”
Sergeant Bushnell was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. A memorial ceremony was held in his honor at Fort Bliss on May 16, 2007.