US civilian from Lexington killed in Iraq

(Lexington) August 6, 2003 - Sources identify the civilian employee killed in Iraq as 39-year-old Fred Bryant, Jr.
The Lexington High School graduate was working for a company called KBR, formerly known as Kellogg Brown and Root. The company is a subsidiary of the Houston, Texas-based Halliburton Corporation. KBR is a civilian contracting firm assigned to provide support for the US Army's Material Command Logcap III Project. It's part of the effort to rebuild Iraq, which includes reconstruction of a major oil pipeline from Iraq to Turkey.

Bryant is believed to have been driving a truck in a five-vehicle convoy making a mail run between Baghdad and Tikrit.
A statement from a Halliburton spokeswoman, while not naming Bryant for "security reasons," says an employee died when a mine exploded under the truck. A Canadian website and the Associated Press say the bomb was remote-controlled.
The truck was being escorted by Army troops, including medics. Halliburton says the employee was pronounced dead on arrival at a field hospital north of Tikrit.

KBR, in the statement issued by Halliburton, says it "extends its sincere condolences to the family of this employee." A US State Department spokeswoman told WIS News Ten the department is also expressing "deepest sympathy to the family and friends of this American citizen." KBR says an investigation is underway.
This is said to be the first death of an American civilian worker from hostile action during the reconstruction of Iraq.
A source tells WIS that Bryant has two brothers and a sister in Lexington County. The brothers work for the sheriff's department. A spokesman says they have declined comment.

Bryant leaves behind a wife and three children.

By Jack Kuenzie
Updated 7:33pm by BrettWitt