The Iowa National Guard confirmed today (Monday) that two soldiers were killed in combat action in Iraq. Iowa National Guard officials say 48-year-old Staff Sergeant Scott Nisley of Marshalltown and 20-year-old Specialist Kampha Sourivong of Iowa City were killed during combat operations in Iraq on Saturday. Both were members of the 133rd Infantry based in Iowa Falls.
Lieutenat Colonel Greg Hapgood says the two Iowa soldiers were part of a security detail for a convoy when they came upon an insurgent vehicle. Hapgood says a firefight ensued and both men were hit by insurgent gunfire. Both died at the scene.
Nisely is the oldest Iowa Guard soldier to die in Iraq. He was a graduate of Syracruse, Nebraska, High School and had extensive experience in the Marines before joining the Iowa Guard in 2002. Hapgood says Nisely took a drop in rank to join the Iowa Guard, and was considered an outstanding veteran soldier. Sourivong is an Iowa City native who leaves behind a brother and a sister.
Sixteen Iowa National Guard soldiers have died in the war on terror, according to Hapgood. “Truly, we’re a 9,700 member family. This hurts all of us, but what makes us stronger is that we are able to come together as an organization and we are able to understand each other and overcome these events,” Hapgood says. “One of the things that we stress over and over and over again is how we as an organization take care of our families, take care of our soldiers and you know these are the tough times like this that make any family stronger and that’s the same way it is for us.”
Funeral arrangements for both men are still pending. There are currently about 1,200 Iowa Guard soldiers on active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan.