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Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
2:46 PM Mon, Dec. 10th

Former Kingman man seriously injured in Iraq

A soldier from Kingman is being treated for serious wounds suffered May 19 during a reconnaissance mission in Iraq.

Army Staff Sgt.

William T.

Latham, 29, was struck in the head by the ricochet of an apparent "friendly fire" grenade, an Army spokesman said.

Latham is being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., said Tom Budzyna, an Army spokesman at Fort Carson, Colo.

Latham has served with Eagle Troop, 2nd Squadron of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment based at Fort Carson.

Latham had been in Iraq since early April, his mother, Brenda, said.

Budzyna provided few details but indicated Latham might have been part of an operation to break into a building near the Syrian border.

"I just know they were trying to get into a building … in an urban environment," Budzyna said.

"I'm pretty sure it was a friendly grenade."

Budzyna said the regiment consists of 5,200 soldiers, M-1 tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and helicopters and is providing security and reconnaissance for large areas of Iraq.

He said Latham was treated for his wounds in Iraq before being flown to a hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, and then to Walter Reed.

Latham's mother, who lives in Butler, said doctors at Walter Reed induced a coma for her son.

"They don't know whether they can operate or not," she said.

Brenda Latham said her husband, Sid, traveled to Colorado Springs to look after William's three children.

She said her husband was heading home Tuesday because the parents of William's wife, Melissa, left their home in Seattle to travel to Colorado Springs to look after the grandchildren.

Fort Carson is located near Colorado Springs.

Brenda recounted that William expressed an interest in joining the military since his youth.

William was born in Kingman and graduated from Kingman High School in 1992.

He served in the National Guard cadets while he was in high school and was a volunteer for the Kingman Fire Department.

He joined the military during his junior year under the Army's delayed-enlistment program.

A longtime friend and former next-door neighbor, Jack King, said Latham "was always interested in the military.

When we were growing up, he had G.I.

Joes (toy soldiers) and all the (miniature) Army vehicles.

We used to play.

We dug in trenches in our backyard."

King, a Kingman police officer, said he last saw Latham in June 1997 when the soldier attended his wedding.

"He's a good guy and I hope he has a quick recovery," King said.