September 12, 2003 - Posted at: 4:26 p.m. CDT
BENTON, Ark. -- A Benton family is mourning the death of a son who was fighting in Iraq.
Special Forces Master Sergeant Kevin Morehead died last night. The soldier's father says he died in a firefight in Ramadi. Another soldier was killed and seven were wounded.
The 33-year-old grew up in Little Rock and was one of the first soldiers deployed to Afghanistan to round up terror suspects following the September 11th attacks. He returned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he met President Bush.
Morehead's family says they consider him a hero and patriot who fought on the front lines in the war against terror.
The soldier was stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky and was scheduled to return from Iraq in two weeks. He would have turned 34 on Sunday.
Morehead's unit already returned from the Middle East, but the soldier chose to remain behind to help with orientation for their replacements.
Kevin Morehead graduated from Little Rock Central High School and briefly attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville before joining the Army. He was called to Afghanistan in October 2001 and stayed until February 2002 before he was posted to Iraq this past January.
The family mourned at their Benton home this morning as friends and relatives brought plates of food that crowded the dining room table. The driveway is decorated with yellow ribbons, American flags and a sign reading, ``Our son has your back.''
Morehead's sister, Kristen Wright, a doctor in Benton, says her brother supported President Bush and was upset by the terrorist attacks.
``He was ready to go and fight to defend the country and make sure that never happened again,'' she said.
His father said Morehead was active in his church and enjoyed hunting and fishing. Professionally, Morehead was a qualified ranger and sniper and skilled medic. The soldier had traveled to parts of Africa, Pakistan and Yemen with the special forces, earned a Bronze Star for valor and recovered from malaria.