One day after their son was killed by a car bomb in Iraq, the parents of a 27-year-old soldier who grew up in Silver Spring said yesterday that while he loved the military, he had deep doubts about the war.
Army Capt. Humayun Saqib Khan of the Germany-based, 201st Forward Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, died Tuesday. He was among a group of soldiers preparing to inspect a vehicle outside the gate of a coalition base near Baqubah about 8 a.m. when a car blew up, according to a news release from the 1st Infantry Division's public affairs office.
Khan, who was an ordnance officer, was killed along with two Iraqi civilians. Ten soldiers and six Iraqi citizens were wounded in the explosion, the release said.
Khan was born in the United Arab Emirates and grew up in Silver Spring. He graduated from Kennedy High School in 1996 and the University of Virginia in 2000, his parents, Khizr M. and Ghazala Khan, said last night at their home in Bristow in the western end of Prince William County.
Their son joined ROTC as a college student, signing up for a four-year stint in the Army in part to pay for law school, they said. His tour of duty was to be up last month, but it was extended indefinitely because of the war. He was stationed at Vilseck, Germany, and was sent to Iraq in February.
Khan once said he "could not think of anything but being an Army officer," said his father, a 53-year-old lawyer.
The elder Khan summed up comments his son had made over the phone and in correspondence from Iraq. "He said, 'This is a mess, why are we here? This is such chaos. We should be coming home instead of being here,' " the father recalled.
But, Khan said, his son "was being a soldier, meaning he was following the orders, being truthful to his word."
His son was "lively," Khan said, "and always made sure his company was laughing." He loved to play basketball, read and write, and he was very close to his two brothers, their parents said.