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Monday, November 17, 2003 - Page updated at 12:35 A.M.

Wife of slain soldier living in Federal Way

By Michael Ko
Seattle Times staff reporter

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In May, when John Sullivan found out he and his wife were having twins, he re-enlisted in the Army so she wouldn't have to work.

In July, he was deployed to Iraq. But on Saturday, before he had a chance to see his sons, Sullivan died aboard one of the two Black Hawk helicopters that crashed over Mosul, Iraq. Sullivan, 26, of Countryside, Ill, was a mechanic assigned to the 626th Forward Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, in Fort Campbell, Ky.

His wife, Katrina, 28, recently had moved in with her family in Federal Way because she needed support with the birth while her husband was overseas. The boys were born Sept. 10.

"Once he found out about the twins, he was so excited, and looking forward to it," she said last night. "He wanted to coach the boys and teach them the guitar, small things that people take for granted."

The couple, married about three years, met when Sullivan was stationed at Fort Lewis. During his first, five-year stint, he worked for another support battalion.

Katrina Sullivan heard the news from an Army chaplain about 9:30 a.m. yesterday. She said she is to get an update on the accident from military officials today.

"I basically know as much as everybody else," she said. "They're doing an investigation."

She said her husband came from a large family.

"He was a very good person; it's a huge loss, it's huge," she said. "He was an awesome musician. He played the guitar. He was a very funny person, a very kind person. He was very proud to be in the military. He was very proud to be doing what he was doing."

Chief Warrant Officer Erik Kesterson, 29, of Independence, Ore., also was among those killed.

Michael Ko: 206-515-5653

Copyright 2003 The Seattle Times Company

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