Springfield Man Killed in Iraq

By: Courtney Hayes
By: Courtney Hayes

We've all heard of the dozens of private contractors who have been killed while working in Iraq, but now that story is hitting close to home.

A Springfield man has become one of the latest victims in the fighting in Iraq. He was a private citizen working to rebuild the country of Iraq. Forty-four-year-old Joseph Arguelles died on Sunday doing his job.

Arguelles was on board an Australian C-130. He was leaving Baghdad Airport on Sunday when insurgents on the ground fired at the plane. Australian Defense Forces say the Springfield man was hit by the only bullet to penetrate the aircraft. He died a short time after he was hit.

The plane was on the way to a base in the Persian Gulf. Australian Defense Force officials say three U.S. passengers, including Arguelles, were being flown out of Baghdad as a part of normal aircraft operations when the attack happened.

Arguelles worked for Readiness Management Support LC, which has an office off Jenks Avenue in Panama City. A Company spokesman told Newschannel Seven Arguelles was helping maintain power generating and water pumping stations in Baghdad.

Friends and family flocked to Arguelles’ home off of Bob Little Road in Springfield Tuesday afternoon to provide what comfort they could to a grieving wife who now has to raise her young children without a father.

Joseph Arguelles’ family is understandably upset and would not comment on his death. Ironically, Arguelles e-mailed Newschannel Seven two days before he was killed. In the letter he says he's working in Iraq and is quite limited on hometown news. He wanted to thank us for our online news stories.

The plane was on the way to a base in the Persian Gulf. Australian Defense Force officials say three U.S. passengers, including Arguelles, were being flown out of Baghdad as a part of normal aircraft operations when the attack happened.


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