Community in Mourning for Young Soldier

By: Laurabree Austin Email
By: Laurabree Austin Email

A recent Winfield High graduate was killed in Iraq on Saturday, and now an entire community is mourning.

Private Michael Slater had always dreamed of joining the military. Little did he or anyone else know -- achieving that goal would cut his life tragically short. Adding to the shock his family and friends are feeling: he'd only been in Iraq for a couple of weeks.

Winfield Principal Bill Hughes says, “From the time I remember him, in the 9th grade to the time he graduated, he wanted to be in the army.”

Slater graduated from Winfield High in 2005. Word of his death quickly made its way around the school.

The Slater family is very connected to Winfield High. Michael's father has been the softball coach for years. And Michael also has two who graduated with him, and another who's still a student.

The Department of Defense says Private Slater was killed when his vehicle rolled over during a combat operation. He was part of the 82nd Airborne Division based out of Fort Bragg.

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