Soldier from Central Pa. killed in Iraq

February 19, 2008 11:54:34 AM PST
A soldier from central Pennsylvania was shot and killed in an ambush in Iraq. Army Spc. Luke Runyan, 21, died Sunday, according to his father, Marc Runyan, of West Manchester Township. Runyan said he was told by Army officials that another soldier was killed and a third injured in the attack northeast of Baghdad.

Runyan leaves behind a wife, Courtney, and their 1-year-old daughter, Brynn. The two met while he was stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash.

Runyan, an avid hunter who also enjoyed riding his motorcycle, enlisted in the Army while he was a senior at Spring Grove Area Senior High School. Late last year, he re-enlisted for another three years.

He deployed to Iraq last spring.

"He had no fear of combat and I guess that was part of his training," Marc Runyan said. "He once told me you go out on a mission and if you get hit, you get hit. If you don't, you don't.

It's as simple as that. He did feel very strongly they were doing an excellent job freeing the Iraqi people from al-Qaida."