WASHINGTON – A Fallston native serving in the Kentucky National Guard was killed in Iraq Tuesday when a roadside bomb went off near his Humvee.
Staff Sgt. William A. Allers III, 28, was riding on the right side of the escort vehicle as part of a convoy near the city of Al Khalis, about 40 miles north of Baghdad, his family said.
He was the only death from the explosion that wounded two other guardsmen. They were airlifted to Landstuhl, Germany, for treatment, his father, William Allers Jr., of Fallston, said.
His father said Capt. Todd Linder, Allers’ commander, told him the news in a phone call Tuesday evening. “He told me, ‘It’s a miracle any of them lived.'”
Allers had been assigned to the Guard’s 617th Military Police Company, a division of the 198th Military Police Battalion, 75th Troop Command, from Louisville, Ky.
He initially joined the Army in 1995, his senior year at Fallston High School.
Allers was a very adept athlete who had once lettered in track and enjoyed fishing for trout near his home, but he was eager to get on with his life after high school, his father said. “He signed up even before he graduated.”
“I wasn’t too happy about him joining the combat outfit,” he said, “but he was going to be 18 and graduating, so we supported him.”
His father said he had hoped his son would take advantage of the Army’s benefits and get an education, but “he didn’t care about school.”
Allers served the Army in assignments that took him to South Korea, where he performed reconnaissance tasks, as well as Fort Knox, Ky., his stepbrother, Tom Gable, of Essex, said.
It was in Kentucky that a medical condition forced him to leave the Army in 2003, Gable said. But he missed being in the military and soon joined the Kentucky National Guard as a clerk the following year, Gable said.
He and his second wife — they were married on Sept. 11, 2004 — lived in Leitchfield, Ky., but by Thanksgiving that same year, he had already shipped out to Iraq.
Allers returned home in July to spend time with his 8-year-old son, Gregory. His entire unit was due to return to Kentucky in October, his father said.
Though he wasn’t able to see Allers when he visited in July, Gable said he knew he was happy serving his country. “The Army made a man out of him. Up until then, he was a young boy.”
“He was very proud of what he was doing over there,” his father said. “His heart went out to the kids (in Iraq).”
Though his family is still coming to terms with their loss, his father has been able to put his son’s death in perspective.
“A lot of people die. They get killed. One boy in his class died in an automobile accident by a drunk driver. But Bill was doing something he believed in.”
Allers is the second graduate of Harford County’s Fallston High School to die in Iraq. Class of 2001 graduate and Marine Lance Cpl. Patrick R. Adle, 21, was killed by a land mine in June 2004. – 30 – CNS-9-23-05