Happening Now: Ransdell releases statement on graduate killed in Afghanistan

Emily Ulber

President Gary Ransdell released the following statement via a university news release on the death of 1LT Eric D. Yates of Rineyville, Ky., a WKU ROTC graduate who was serving with the 101st Airborne Division, B Company, 1st Battalion/502 Infantry supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan:

“It’s tough to lose a member of the family even if your family is 21,000 students, 2,200 employees and 100,000 alumni. We suffered a loss last weekend that brings world events close to home. Eric Yates graduated in 2008 when he was also commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. This to my knowledge is the first ROTC cadet that I knew as a student to be killed in action. We salute Eric Yates and his family for his service, his courage and his WKU spirit.

“This loss also deepens my respect for ROTC cadets currently training on our campus. We owe our freedom to young men and women like Eric Yates.”

A memorial service is planned for Yates on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 4 p.m. at the Guthrie Bell Tower. Check wkuherald.com and Friday’s Herald for more coverage.