Soldier killed in Afghanistan noted Quran backlash

Feb 26, 2012, 5:46 AM

Associated Press

DOVER, Del. (AP) – A U.S. soldier killed during protests in Afghanistan had talked with relatives about the backlash over the burning of Qurans at a U.S. military base shortly before he died.

Cpl. T.J. Conrad of Roanoke, Va., who was promoted posthumously to sergeant, was one of two U.S. military police officers killed Thursday by an Afghan soldier amid rising anti-American sentiment over the Quran burnings, which resulted in two more American deaths on Saturday.

The bodies of Conrad and Sgt. Joshua Born, 25, of Niceville, Fla., both assigned to the Army’s Fort Stewart in Georgia, were returned to the military mortuary at Dover Air Force Base on Saturday.

Conrad’s oldest sister, Amanda Meland, told The Associated Press he was in good spirits when she and other relatives chatted with him via Skype on Wednesday.

“He was doing good. He had his chin up,” she said. “… He did say that things were starting to get crazy from the backlash.”

Conrad, the father of a 7-month-old baby, deployed to Afghanistan in January. He would have celebrated his 23rd birthday on March 6.

Meland said Conrad’s widow, Holly, was not at the couple’s house when military officials initially came to notify her of his death.

“They had come earlier, but she was not there. She had actually just mailed out his birthday package,” Meland explained.

Conrad was born in Newport News, Va., and was still a toddler when his family moved to Roanoke, where he was a member of the wrestling team at Northside High School. After high school, he joined the Army Reserve, switching a short time later to active duty.

Meland said Conrad wanted to make the military his career, planning to re-enlist and hoping to be stationed at Fort Eustis, Va., to be closer to family. He was also hoping to have another baby.

Conrad’s family has posted a video tribute to him on You Tube.

“We’re very proud of our T.J.,” said his aunt Shannon Lemm. “We want everyone to know his name and see his face.”

Meland described Conrad as a jokester and class clown, always able to bring a laugh to those around him.

“He could barely sit still,” she said. “Even when his wife was in labor, he was doing karate moves in the delivery room.”

“When we Skyped with him Wednesday morning, he was doing the same thing, making all his jokes,” she said.

Meland said the deaths of Conrad and Born, whose relatives also attended Saturday’s casualty return, have left both families devastated.

“You see it on TV, you see it in the movies, but you just never expect it’s going to be your family or your soldier,” she said.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Associated Press

Prosecutor seeks 3rd trial for Kansas woman in 2 killings

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas prosecutor has indicated that he intends to try a woman for the third time in the killings of her ex-husband and his girlfriend two decades ago. Dana Chandler is accused of killing 47-year-old Mike Sisco and his fiancee, 53-year-old Karen Harkness, in 2002 in Topeka. Chandler’s second trial on […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Woman hit by train while in police car is out of hospital

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — A 20-year-old woman who was seriously injured when the parked police patrol vehicle she was detained in was struck by a freight train in northern Colorado has been released from the hospital. Yareni Rios-Gonzalez, of Greeley, is recovering at home with nine broken ribs, a broken arm, a fractured sternum and […]
13 hours ago
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland speaks during a news conference on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Summe...
Associated Press

Haaland: ‘Traumatic’ history shown in Brown v. Board schools

SUMMERTON, S.C. (AP) — Interior Secretary Deb Haaland joined House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn on Tuesday in visiting a rural South Carolina school that is now part of a National Park Service program to safeguard institutions connected to the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision declaring segregated schools unconstitutional. Legislation signed by […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Witnesses are no-shows for hearing in Memphis shootings

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A court hearing for a Tennessee man charged with murder in a series of shootings in Memphis was postponed Tuesday when three state witnesses did not show up for the proceedings. Shelby County General Sessions Judge Karen Massey issued an order to have three people arrested after they did not answer […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Former college accounting manager gets 10 years for stealing

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A former accounting manager for the University of South Florida has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing more than $12.8 million from the school. Ralph Puglisi, 60, of Palm Harbor, was sentenced Monday in federal court in Tampa, according to court records. The judge also ordered that Puglisi […]
13 hours ago
Follow @KTAR923...
Sponsored Content by Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.

Sponsored Articles

...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Soldier killed in Afghanistan noted Quran backlash