Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Mon, March 18

Family of slain soldier interviewed by Phoenix TV crew

Upset at the loss of her son, a Kingman mother said she would always keep the pride she feels for his sacrifice for his country.

"Pride is such a small word to describe what I feel for James' sacrifice," Carol Howland said.

"He was always willing to help someone else.

They will never take away the pride I feel for my son."

Howland is a U.S.

Navy veteran and James' father and stepfather are both Army veterans.

"James was born in a military hospital into a military family," his mother said.

The military first notified James wife, Jill, Sunday March 23 that he was missing in action with other members of his unit.

Army Spc.

James Kiehl, 22, was a computer specialist attached to the 507th Maintenance Co.

that was ambushed March 23.

It was Friday April 4 when the Howland's were visited in Kingman by an Army representative who confirmed that James was dead.

"We did not think he was in much danger," she said.

"He was in a support group and not on the front lines."

James was always interested in computers and built on that skill in the service.

He was supposed to be providing technical computer information from a safe position behind the lines.

The Howland family spent much of Monday afternoon telling and retelling their story to television crews from Phoenix.

Bruce Dunbar from Fox Channel 5 taped an interview for later broadcast.

Jeanne Herwerth, reporter for CBS Channel 5 in Phoenix, and cameraman Rueben Trujillo followed Dunbar and taped an interview that was edited and sent by satellite to Phoenix for the five o'clock news.

Herwerth attended Kingman High School just a few blocks from the Howland home.

James graduated from high school in Comfort, Texas, where he lived with his father, Randy, and stepmother, Jane.

They had felt that James would likely be safe in the Iraqi war in a support role far from the actual combat.

James wife, Jill, is expecting the birth of a son the end of April or the first of May.

She lives in Des Moines, Iowa, near her family.

"I am looking forward to watching my grandson grow up," Howland said.

"They picked a name ahead of time.

Nathaniel Ethan will be the second "Nat" in the family.

I intend to keep in close contact with Jill and my grandson."

Edward Howland, James' stepfather, is a veteran who understands the dangers of the military but finds himself upset over the loss of his stepson.

"He loved his stepfather and called him 'Daddy,'" Mrs.

Howland said.

"James gave me away when Ed and I were married."

Frank, the 10-year-old brother of James said he would also miss his big brother.

"I loved him very much," Frank said.

Since James was reported missing March 23, the family has been going through pictures and James' journal.

Carol Howland said the nine-year-old pictures of James and Frank are difficult to tell apart.

"We remember his quick smile," she said.

"James always shared his toys and wanted to help people."

She has continued her daily schedule as a detention officer for the Mohave County Sheriffs Office as she and the family try to make sense of life after the abrupt loss of James.

It is her wish that James be buried in Arlington National Cemetery but no plans have been made.


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