Army Capt. Humayun Khan, whose family grabbed headlines in a public spat with Republican Nominee Donald Trump, died June 8, 2004 after ordering his soldiers to stay back when he approached a suspicious vehicle.
While performing a routine vehicle inspection, a taxi with two men drove to the front gate of Khan’s base in a suspicious manner. Khan ordered his soldiers to “hit the dirt” and took about ten steps to the car while motioning for it to stop. That’s when the two men in the taxi detonated their explosives, killing themselves, Khan and two Iraqi soldiers.
None of Khan’s soldiers were killed in the blast.
Khan commissioned into the U.S. army after graduating in 2000 from the University of Virginia. As he was promoted through the Army’s ranks, he gained admittance to the University of Virginia Law School and expected to enter law school in 2004.
Khan had his tour extended amidst troop shortfalls in Iraq, and was deployed to Baquabah in 2004. Khan served as an ordnance officer with the Germany-based 201st Forward Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division. Khan was serving in a force protection role, and was in charge of a unit securing and maintaining his base.
Khan received full military honors at his funeral and was laid to rest in an Islamic ceremony, at Arlington National Cemetery. Khan’s commanding officer wrote in a letter to his funeral service, “He died selflessly and courageously, tackling the enemy head on,” elaborating “We will not forget him and the noble ideas he stood for.”
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