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GI Reported Killed Calls Home : Military: Kansas private shocks mother with news he's alive; Army apologizes.

March 02, 1991|From Associated Press

CHANUTE, Kan. — A soldier the Army listed as killed in action in the Gulf War telephoned his mother Friday.

Ruth Dillow of Chanute said the call was the first word she had that her son, Pvt. Clayton Carpenter, was still alive.

"It was such a shock. I was afraid somebody was playing with my mind," Dillow said. "I asked him questions only he would know the answer to."

Carpenter, 20, of Humboldt, Kan., was reported killed Wednesday from stepping on a land mine two hours before hostilities were suspended.

The Army said in a statement early today that Carpenter "was mistakenly reported as killed in action on Feb. 27. In fact, Pvt. Carpenter was lightly wounded when a bomblet exploded. He will be medically evacuated to the United States.

"The U.S. Army regrets the error."

Dillow said two Army officers arrived soon after the call to confirm that her son was alive.

She said her son did not know how the mistake was made.

"He said somebody screwed up," she said. "He did get injured. It will take him six weeks to get well. He said he was injured in the hand and foot."

Carpenter's father, Cecil Carpenter, also of Humboldt, said the Army also notified him late Friday night that his son was alive.

Clayton Carpenter is a tank mechanic with the 1st Cavalry Division based at Ft. Hood, Tex. He graduated from Humboldt High School in 1989.

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