Army Lt. Col. William E. Bowers, 47, of Hampshire

By Chojnacki, Cheryl | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), December 26, 2011 | Go to article overview

Army Lt. Col. William E. Bowers, 47, of Hampshire


Chojnacki, Cheryl, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Cheryl Chojnacki Daily Herald Correspondent

When Beth Shepley hosted her first sleepover as a sixth-grader, it was her brother Bill who volunteered to stay up with the girls, and that night the West Point cadet taught his little sister's friends to disco.

When he went out with his own friends, Bill often invited all four younger siblings to come along. For his brothers, there was always time to toss around a football or wrestle in the backyard at the Bowers family home in Schaumburg.

Bill Bowers always was a family man, long before he had a wife and kids of his own. And that makes his death all the more painful for those he left behind.

A 1979 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Lt. Col. William E. Bowers was killed in Iraq ... but not as an active duty officer. After 20 good years with the Army, Bowers retired and returned to the Middle East, this time as a civilian engineer overseeing rebuilding of the Iraqi infrastructure, destroyed in the war.

On Sept. 10, 2004, days short of his 48th birthday, he was cut down by gunfire. Bowers' vehicle was attacked by insurgents as he drove off from Camp Falcon, Baghdad, where his company was building a power station; he was by himself. Bowers became one of more than 900 private contractors killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003. …

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