Tacoma National Guardsman dies of non-combat injuries

Tacoma National Guardsman dies of non-combat injuries
Sgt. William Spencer
CAMP MURRAY, Wash. - A Washington National Guardsman from Tacoma died Thursday from injuries suffered while deployed in Iraq, officials said.

Sgt. William C. Spencer, 40, of Tacoma was serving with the Mississippi National Guard when he sustained an injury while supporting combat operations at Combat Outpost in Marez, Iraq, Army officials said.

Spencer was evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, where he later died.

The cause of his non-combat injury is under investigation, said National Guard spokesman Capt. Keith Kosik.

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of Sgt. Spencer. The entire state stands with me in expressing our gratitude for his service and our condolences to his family," said Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Spencer served with the Washington Army National Guard's 81st Brigade Combat Team in Iraq through August 2009, and opted to stay in Iraq with the Mississippi Army National Guard when the 81st returned home.

He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 146th Field Artillery Regiment in Olympia.

He previously served in the U.S. Air Force before joining the Washington National Guard. Details for a memorial service are not yet available as arrangements are still being made.

About 300 members of the Washington National Guard are currently serving in locations around the world.