Decatur Soldier Killed In Iraq

By John W. Davis

September 8, 2010 Updated Sep 8, 2010 at 8:30 PM EDT

DECATUR, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Indiana's NewsCenter has learned 27 year-old Sergeant Phillip Chad Jenkins of Decatur was killed Tuesday in Iraq.

According to the U.S. Military, Jenkins' unit was getting ready for a joint operation with Iraqi forces, when an Iraqi soldier yielded a rifle and shot and killed him.

Military officials said Jenkins and one other soldier were killed.

Nine others were wounded.

"I don't think anybody really expected anything like this would happen to him. It was a pretty good shock... He would not have it any other way. That's what he wanted to do and that's what he done," said Phillip's Uncle Gary Hauter in an exclusive interview with Indiana's NewsCenter.

The shooting took place Tuesday at an Iraqi Military Base 105 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq.

Jenkins' death comes less than two weeks after the U.S. Military ended its combat mission in Iraq.

"He is truly an American hero," said CSM (Ret) Fritz Bultemeyer who served in Afghanistan with Jenkins in 2004.

"He is a great American patriot not just because he was killed in action but because he served his country and he loved serving his country. To him it was an honor, to me it is an honor to serve with soldiers like him and I will never forget him," said Bultemeyer.

According to Casualty Assistance Officer Master Sergeant Johnny Summers, Jenkins' mother will travel to Dover, Delaware this week to witness Jenkins' dignified transfer.

After that, Jenkins' body will return home to Decatur.

Jenkins, a 2002 Bellmont High School Graduate, is survived by his parents, his sister, and his wife and two young girls who are stationed in Hawaii.

"I don't believe I've ever seen such a smile on his face as when I saw his picture holding his little girl," said Phillip's Former Band Director and Elementary School Teacher Janice Reynolds.

Jenkins played the baritone saxophone and was an active member in the Bellmont High School Marching, Concert and Pep Bands.

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