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THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ

Colonel Becomes Highest-Ranking U.S. Fatality

June 08, 2005|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Army on Tuesday announced the identity of the highest-ranking officer to die in the Iraq war, Col. Theodore S. Westhusing, 44, of Dallas, who died Sunday in Baghdad.

The Army said he died from "non-combat-related" injuries. That is a category that includes accident, illness, natural disaster and suicide.

Westhusing was serving as a staff officer with the Multinational Security Transition Command, which is in charge of training Iraqi security forces. He was assigned to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

Family members in Oklahoma said after being notified of Westhusing's death that he had graduated from West Point in 1983 and held advanced degrees in Russian, philosophy and military strategy. They said he had deployed to Iraq late last year. He was due to return to West Point this summer.

Several lieutenant colonels have died in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion, but no generals or colonels until Westhusing.

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