Fort Lewis soldier, 21, killed in Iraq incident

A 21-year-old Florida native serving with Fort Lewis' 17th Fires Brigade was killed Sunday in Iraq.

Pfc. Derrick D. Gwaltney was killed in a non-combat-related incident south of Basra, the Pentagon announced Wednesday. No other details about his death were released.

Gwaltney enlisted in July 2008 and trained to be a food service specialist. He reported to Fort Lewis in January and deployed six months later with the brigade’s 1st Battalion, 377th Field Artillery Regiment.

Gwaltney is the first member of the brigade to die on this deployment and the 361st service member with Washington ties to die in military operations since Sept. 11, 2001.

The brigade of about 1,000 soldiers trains Iraqi security forces and provides support to the State Department-led provincial reconstruction team in Basra, a strategic location near Iraq’s only deepwater port.

Scott Fontaine, The News Tribune