Local soldier killed in Iraq, family speaks

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) -  "She was always outgoing and she was always looking for an adventure."

That is how Lakeshia Bailey's family is remembering her.

The 23-year-old Columbus native was killed Monday during a vehicle roll-over in Iraq along with 25-year-old Sergeant Aaron Arthur from South Carolina.

A 2004 graduate of Spencer High School in Columbus and the oldest of three girls, Bailey was serving her second tour of duty working as a motor transport operator.

She joined the Army in 2006.

Her parents say the military was in her blood.

"She always wanted to go into the military because my husband was in the military for 24 years. Now he's retired but she wanted to follow dad. She was a military brat," said her mother, Phyllis Bailey.

"I talked her out of every job that I could. I tried to persuade her to different types of jobs. She just really had her mind set on driving big trucks. She said Dad, 'I want to drive big trucks. That's what I want to do," her father, Tony Bailey, added.

As for the fallen soldier's family members, they're staying strong.

"She wouldn't want us around crying. Yes, she's gone but she would want us to be smiling and having fun because that's just how she was," said Candace, Bailey's sister.

"She knew that there was a possibility that one day she could lose her life but she always said no matter what I do I would want to if, I did lose my life, I would lose it fighting for my country. I'm real, real proud of her and what she did."

Specialist Bailey's family says her remains are expected to arrive at Lawson Army Airfield on Fort Benning Wednesday.

They are in the process of making funeral arrangements.

Bailey and Arthur were assigned to the 203rd Brigade Support Battalion, attached to the 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.

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