Family: Mississippi soldier killed in Afghanistan

By Shelia Byrd/The Associated Press

JACKSON — Army Pvt. William Brandon Dawson’s younger brothers looked up to him as a man with the characteristics of a good soldier.

“He never talked back to his mother or father. He was always respectful,” Joseph Dawson said of his older brother. “He was a perfect man.”

William Dawson, 20, from Tunica, was killed Friday in Kabul, Afghanistan, his relatives confirmed.

The military informed Quita Weeden Dawson of Tunica her eldest son was driving the lead truck in a convoy that was struck by a missile, Joseph Dawson said.

Joseph Dawson said his brother was based in Anchorage, Alaska. Maj. William Coppernoll of the U.S. Army Alaska Public Affairs Office declined to comment Monday, pending completion of the next of kin notification process.

The Department of Defense hadn’t released any details about the incident on Monday.

William Dawson was the eldest of his mother’s four sons. Joseph Dawson, 18, said the family last saw his older brother about four months ago when he was on leave from Alaska. He said William Dawson stayed in touch with the family after he arrived in Afghanistan.

“He called a lot and we talked on Facebook every day. He never talked about what was going on down there. He just talked about what he wanted to do when he came back here,” Joseph Dawson said.

The Rev. Willie Dawson, 40, associate pastor at Adams Chapel in Clarksdale, said his soldier son was ambitious and had talked about a career in politics.

“He told me he wanted to be a senator. He could do so many different things,” Willie Dawson said. “He made a career choice, and he had all the support of his family. He wanted to drive trucks and he wanted to serve his country.”

Quita Weeden Dawson was traveling from Dover, Del., on Monday, relatives said. Funeral services for William Dawson were pending, but relatives said he would be buried in a family plot in Tunica.

Dawson’s death came four days after another Mississippi resident, Joshua Ose, 19, a private first class, was killed while on foot patrol in Afghanistan. The Marine Corps said Ose was struck by small arms fire in the southern Helmand Province on Sept. 20.

William Dawson, a 2009 graduate of Rosa Fort High School in Tunica, left an impression on Principal Derrick Dace, who described him as a positive young man.

“As his grandfather got older, I used to always see him driving him around. He was very respectful. He’s just one of those students, every time you see him, he lifts your spirits,” Dace said.