Eric P. Woods—September 2005 Shipment Honoree
Army Spc., 26, of Omaha, Neb.; assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo.; killed July 9, 2005 when his Humvee struck an improvised explosive device, causing it to overturn, in Tal Afar, Iraq. Woods was in the area to evacuate another soldier who had been wounded.
Fallen medic from Urbandale ‘went above and beyond’
In life, U.S. Army medic Pfc. Eric Paul Woods cared for others, his family said Sunday.
The 26-year-old private first class from Omaha was killed Saturday about 6:20 a.m. Iraq time while traveling to help a wounded soldier. He was the 31st Iowan to be killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Lt. Col. Gregory Hapgood, the Iowa National Guard’s public affairs officer, said Woods was near Tal Afar, Iraq, when an explosive device detonated under his vehicle. The vehicle flipped and Woods was killed. No information was available on whether there were others in the vehicle.
Woods grew up in Urbandale, where his parents, Chuck and Jan Woods, still live. Jan Woods talked to her son on Friday, about 15 hours before he died. She said he told her he was doing OK and he talked about coming home in September. But later that day, Jan Woods got the feeling that something was wrong.
Jan Woods said that they tried to send a letter and at least one package to their son each week. At his request, the packages contained toys, candy and soccer balls for the children in Iraq. The couple also sent items that Eric said would help other soldiers: foot powder, moist towelettes and lip balm. “As a medic he would hand that out,” Chuck Woods said. “He went above and beyond.”
Woods joined the Army in April 2004 and was sent to Iraq in March. His parents said that he and his wife, Jamie, were concerned about the war, but they made the decision together. His family said he planned to become a physician’s assistant. “He had a lot of things left to do in life,” Jan Woods said.
Bob Stouffer, superintendent at Des Moines Christian School, was principal at Urbandale High School when Eric Woods graduated in 1997. “It doesn’t surprise me that his death comes as he was serving his country and helping someone else,” Stouffer said.
Woods is survived by his wife, Jamie; his 3-year-old son, his parents and three siblings. His parents have set up an e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org, for people who want to support their son’s squadron. Woods belonged to the G Troop, 2nd Squadron of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, based out of Fort Carson, Colo.
The members of Landstuhl Hospital Care Project were honored to remember Eric during the month of September 2005 with our shipments to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, and U.S. military hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers remain with Eric’s family and friends today and in the years to come.