A 24-year-old Schofield Barracks soldier was killed Wednesday when insurgents attacked his convoy in Iraq, the Pentagon reported.
First Lt. Michael L. Runyan, of Newark, Ohio, died in Balad of injuries sustained when insurgents attacked his convoy vehicle with an homemade bomb in Muqdadiyah.
He was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division’s 52nd Infantry, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. The “Warrior Brigade” deployed to Iraq earlier this month.
A native of Ashland, Ohio, Runyan earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2008 from Xavier University in Cincinnati, where he was an ROTC cadet.
Runyan’s brother, Alex Runyan, says he graduated from Ashland High School, where competed in golf, tennis and swimming.
His parents, Jeffrey and Renee Runyan, have lived in Newark since 2003. His mother teaches math at Granville High School.
Sister-in-law, Brittany Runyan says the soldier had visited Ohio before he deployed on July 1.
“Michael had this amazing energy,” she said. “He could make anyone laugh, and could always cheer you up. Everybody adored him.”
The Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Center reported that Runyan’s body will be flown to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware tomorrow.
The Associated Press had previously reported that a U.S. soldier was killed by a roadside bomb Wednesday in Diyala province, a former insurgent stronghold. The soldier was treated at the scene before being evacuated to a U.S. military hospital in Balad.
Also on Wednesday, a car bomb in a Shiite mosque in Diyala province killed 15 civilians, the latest in a series of attacks this week in and around Baqouba, a former insurgent stronghold about 35 miles north of Bagdad.
The repeated bombings come as Iraq is in its fifth month without a government. Many Iraqis worry that insurgents are trying to use the period of political instability to bring about more violence.