Texoma Soldier Killed in Iraq

5-5-04 - An Army sergeant who grew up in Ardmore and the Ada area was killed in Iraq during an ambush on Monday. Staff Sergeant Erickson H. Petty graduated from Fort Gibson but has family across southern Oklahoma.

Petty was born in Ada and then attended school at Ardmore's Lincoln elementary and at in Byng. Wednesday, his family said that it was while growing up in Texoma that he showed a passion for serving his country.

He was killed when his patrol was ambushed Monday. Witnesses say Petty was in the process of commanding his troops back to their vehicles when he was shot.

Petty joined the Army straight out of Ft Gibson high school and had put in ten years of service. Since last May, he had been a part of the Army's 1at Armored Division, seeing combat action in Iraq and patrolling Baghdad. Petty was even instrumental in the capture of the Iraqi director of the interior.

Today his grandmother, Voncille Petty of Ada, said her grandson “was doing the job he wanted to do. Even though we are very upset about what happened, we know he is happy with what he was doing, because that's what he felt his life was going to be.”

Staff Sergeant Petty leaves behind a wife and a nine year old son.