Family speaks about soldier killed in Iraq |

Family speaks about soldier killed in Iraq

by Brendan Riley, Associated Press

The tearful father of a slain northern Nevada soldier said Friday the 9/11 terrorist attacks inspired his son, Sgt. Anthony Schober, to join the Army at age 17.

Schober died in an attack on his unit’s outpost south of Baghdad.

Schober, 23, in his third Iraq tour, was one of four soldiers killed in the ambush Saturday. Three other soldiers are believed to have been captured.

“At the age of 17 he came to me and said he wanted to join the Army,” said his father, Ed Schober of Carson City. “He was affected by the 9/11 incident. I asked whether he was sure about this and really wanted to do it. He said yes, so I signed the papers.”

Ed Schober, joined by other family members at a news conference, said his son hoped for an Army assignment in Italy following the completion of his current Iraq tour. In his current tour, he had been in Iraq since July 2006 and was scheduled to leave in October.

“Not once did he mention he wanted to leave the military,” the father said, adding that his son had talked about making a decision on whether to make the Army a career following his Italy tour.

Sgt. Schober, who enlisted in 2001, had previously served in Iraq from April 2003 to March 2004, and from January to June 2005. He was with Company D, 4th Battalion of the 31st Infantry Regiment, nicknamed the “Polar Bears.”

Gov. Jim Gibbons ordered flags flown at half-staff at the Nevada Capitol. Noting Schober’s three tours in Iraq, Gibbons said he “exemplified honor and love of country.”

Besides his father, who adopted him when he was five, Schober is survived by his mother and two sisters.

“This is a tragedy. Sgt. Schober served our country with honor and the news of his death saddens us all in Nevada and across the nation,” Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers go out to Sgt. Schober’s family and friends as they mourn this heartbreaking loss.”

The missing members of Schober’s unit, part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division, were reportedly being held by al-Qaida terrorists. Thousands of U.S. troops, backed by aircraft, intelligence agents and dog teams, are involved in a search for the missing soldiers.

Schober was leading a squad trying to prevent insurgents from laying roadside bombs at night when the ambush occurred along a palm-lined rural road near Youssifiyah, 12 miles south of Baghdad.

Schober’s squad was attacked while at an observation post composed of two Humvees surrounded by concertina wire that had been breached. They were watching for insurgents placing roadside bombs about 800 yards from their patrol base in a rural villa. Shell casings found around the two vehicles indicated the soldiers had put up a fight.