Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cpl Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan

Birth: Feb. 12, 1987
Death: Aug. 6, 2007, Iraq

Spc. Kareem R. Khan of Manahawkin, N.J. enlisted July 21, 2005 right after graduating from Southern Regional High School. As a freshman at Southern Regional High School, Khan enrolled in the district's Air Force Junior ROTC program. During his one year in the program, he proved himself to be solid student and citizen. He wanted to show that not every Muslim was a fanatic and that some would risk their lives for America. Though his father "spoiled him rotten," Kareem was always a polite teenager, who respected his elders. His father's favorite memory is when Kareem used to wake up at 5 a.m. on weekends to accompany his dad at work at a local marina. He loved to watch football with his dad, cheering on the Dallas Cowboys during Sunday afternoon or Monday night games, while munching on popcorn. He also used to challenge his little stepsister to video games. The two would spend hours sprawled out on the living room floor and sometimes Kareem would try to show her how to do certain moves, and ended up taking over the controller. Aliya looked up to her stepbrother and she was proud when he came with her to school and talked to her class at Southern Regional Intermediate School during his leave. Later, he came with her to the school book fair. The family used to send two large bags of Starbursts in his care packages, because Kareem would pick out all the orange ones and leave the rest for his Army buddies. He was also a big fan of Disneyworld, as was the entire family. The family would take at least one trip to Disneyworld every year, and the living room and dining room of the family's split-level home is filled with souvenirs from those trips, like a wall hanging of Cinderella, figurines of Mickey Mouse and Disney-themed snow globes. Kareem was so crazy about Disneyworld that when he had a two-day leave following his graduation from Fort Benning, Ga., he had a backpack full of clothes stashed in the bush, so the family could immediately drive to Florida. Khan was sent to Iraq in July 2006, after spending a year at Fort Lewis near Tacoma, Wash. He came home for two weeks in September 2006 and was supposed to be home permanently last month, but his tour was extended through the end of September 2007. At the end of his tour, Kareem was considering re-enlisting or going to medical school. He worked with a medic unit when he first got to Iraq. When he came home to visit, he was happy to stay at home, even asking his mother, who lives in Maryland, to come up to New Jersey to visit. He had been awarded the Purple Heart for injuries from previous combat. His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medal. His family received a purple heart, a bronze star, and a good conduct medal he received during his tour of duty. He died in Baqubah, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device at age 20.

1st Battalion
23rd Infantry Regiment
3rd Brigade
2nd Infantry Division
Stryker Brigade Combat Team
Fort Lewis, Wash.

Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington County
Virginia, USA
Plot: Sec 60 Site 8441

Next time some one spouts off about Muslim Terrorists remind them about Cpl Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, United States Army.

H/T To By GottaLaff at the Political Carnival
H/T To Caroline (#46561848) at Find A Grave
H/T To The New Yorker
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