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Army Sgt. James C. Akin
Died June 03, 2007 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom
23, of Albuquerque, N.M.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Wash.; died June 3 in Thania, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Also killed were Staff Sgt. Greg P. Gagarin, Sgt. Tyler J. Kritz and Sgt. Robert A. Surber.
Albuquerque soldier killed in Baghdad
The Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico soldier who wanted to someday become president of the U.S. has been killed in Iraq.
Army Sgt. James C. Akin, 23, and three other soldiers were killed June 3 near Baghdad when the Humvee that Akin was driving was destroyed by a bomb, family spokesman Victor Raigoza said. Akin would have been 24 on June 28, according to his wife, Syreeta, of Rio Rancho.
“He was willing to put his actions where his mouth was,” Raigoza said. “If he one day occupied the office where war would be determined, [he felt] that it would be necessary for him to have experienced that.”
Syreeta Akin wrote on his Web page — http://www.myspace.com/akin_for_president — on the social networking site MySpace.com: “You always did what you loved to do, and that is serve your country. I appreciate your sacrifice and well as all others before you. Without people like you where would our country be?”
The Web page has turned into a memorial for Akin, with comments from family, friends and Army buddies.
The U.S. Department of Defense had not confirmed Akin’s death as of June 6.
Funeral services are pending, and Akin will be buried in the National Cemetery in Santa Fe, Raigoza said.
Akin, an Albuquerque native and 2001 Valley High School graduate who joined the Army in 2004, was a self-professed politics and sports junkie. He worked on Raigoza’s 2004 campaign when Raigoza sought the Democratic nomination for a state Senate seat.
“We ended up spending three months together, almost day and night,” Raigoza recalled.
He said he worried when Akin was deployed. Because of Akin’s gregarity and leadership qualities, he felt at the time “there’s a good chance James will never come back,” Raigoza said.
In addition to his wife, Akin is survived by his father, James W. Akin of Albuquerque. His mother, Marianne, died in October, Raigoza said.
Thief robs war widow of memories
Updated: Saturday, 24 Oct 2009, 12:00 AM MDT
Published : Friday, 23 Oct 2009, 6:29 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Symbols of the eternal bond between an Albuquerque woman and her soldier husband who died fighting in Iraq vanished Thursday when a thief broke into her car.
Gone are the couple’s wedding rings and James Akin's dog tags. The theft brought Syreeta Akin back to June 2007 when her husband died on patrol in a Baghdad neighborhood.
“They symbolize everything I had with James, and it’s not something you can replace," Syreeta Akin told KRQE News 13. “It's just like another huge loss, another blow to me.”
Army Sgt. Akin and three other soldiers were killed when an improvised explosive detonated near his vehicle. Akin, 23, was a graduate of Valley High School.
While Syreeta Akin was working out at a gym on McLeod Road NE near San Mateo Boulevard Thursday evening, someone broke into her car and stole her purse containing the priceless items she held so dear.
The community helped a grieving widow begin the healing process, and now she hopes it will help her find the wedding rings.
“I like to keep them together, to symbolize us jointly,” Akin said. “I would look at them, and it would make me feel better.”
She has replicas of James' dog tags, but the thief stole the originals, which are dented and dirtied by combat.
“Being around the dog tags, it would remind me of what he was doing, how he served his country and how I am so proud of him for that,” she continued.
On Friday Akin went to her bank and canceled all her credit and debit cards. She'll get new ones, but those other items that were in her purse are harder to replace.
“I just want my rings back, no questions asked,” she said. “I don't want to know why he did it, I don't really care. I just want the rings back.”
Akin's bank told her the thief tried to use one of her credit cards at a convenience store near Isleta.
Anyone with information that might help Akin get her rings and her husband's dog tags back can call Crime Stoppers at (505) 843-STOP (843-7867).