Nation & World

Combat in Iraq claims 2 N.C.-based soldiers

Two soldiers based in North Carolina have been killed in Iraq, the Department of Defense said Monday night.

Sgt. Joshua L. Morley, 22, of Boise, Idaho, and Cpl. Tracy C. Willis, 21, of San Antonio, Texas, were killed in combat in Samarra, Iraq. They were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.

Morley, a rifleman, enlisted in the Army in January 2004. He completed Infantry One Station Unit Training and the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Ga., in July 2004. He reported to Fort Bragg that same month. Though the Army lists his hometown as Boise, Morley's parents are in North Carolina.

"He was a fearless paratrooper who epitomized the highest forms of bravery, dedication to duty, and selfless service on a daily basis," said Capt. Carlos Morales, Morley's company commander. "His moral character, stalwart leadership, and aggressive spirit will always be remembered."

Morley is survived by his wife, Kendra Morley, and his daughter, Alexis Morley, of Albertson, N.C.; his mother, Sara Morley, of Cary; and his father, Joseph Morley, of Carthage.

Willis, a scout, joined the Army in March 2005. He completed Infantry One Station Unit Training in July 2005 and the Basic Airborne Course a month later at Fort Benning, Ga. He joined his unit as a radio telephone operator.

"He was a fearless and confident warrior who epitomized the highest forms of courage, heroism, and selfless service on a daily basis," Morales said. "He truly was a magnificent paratrooper that was totally committed to his duties as a sniper and always represented the ideals which make our nation great."

Willis is survived by his parents, Darryl and Wilma Willis, of San Antonio.

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