First Lt. Eric D. Yates of Rineyville in Hardin County is remembered by one of his professors at Western Kentucky University as "a very interesting person" — an ROTC cadet whose senior seminar paper was a scholarly examination of Ghandi's years in South Africa.
Lt. Yates graduated from Western in 2008 with majors in history and social studies and a military commission through the Reserve Officers Training Corps.
A childhood friend recalled that he decided young he wanted to serve in the military. His professors, who have started a scholarship fund at WKU in his honor, expected him to one day make a great teacher.
Lt. Yates, 26, and another soldier from Fort Campbell, Staff Sgt. Jamie C. Newman, 27, of Richmond, Va., died in Afghanistan after their unit was hit last week by an improvised explosive device. They were in the Zhari district of Kandahar province.
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Lt. Yates was part of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division.
He is the second graduate of John Hardin High School in Elizabethtown who has been killed while serving in Afghanistan.
We honor his sacrifice and the sacrifice of his parents and others who will miss him.