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Tucson High grad killed in Afghanistan

Tucson High School graduate and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Timothy Bowles, 24, is seen in Afghanistan in this undated photo.

Tucson High School graduate and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Timothy Bowles, 24, is seen in Afghanistan in this undated photo.

Tucson High School graduate Timothy Bowles, 24, was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday after he volunteered to take the spot of a “comrade who was ill,” said his father, retired Air Force Master Sgt. Louis Bowles.

Bowles, an Air Force staff sergeant, was sent to Afghanistan in November, his father said.

It was his first tour in a war zone. He was a fire engine mechanic, the senior Bowles said.

“He volunteered to go on that mission that day to take the place of a comrade who was sick. I just learned that today (Monday),” he said.

Bowles and four other airmen were killed by a roadside bomb in Eastern Afghanistan, according to an Air Force release and an article Monday in The New York Times. The names and hometowns of the other victims were not immediately available.

Bowles was assigned to the 755th Air Expeditionary Group’s Nangarhar Provincial Reconstruction Team in Jalalabad, his father said. His home base was Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage, Alaska.

Louis Bowles said his son was sent to Afghanistan at the same time his sister’s husband was sent to Iraq.

The senior Bowles said his son worked at the Tucson Medical Center cafeteria while taking classes at Pima Community College for a year after his 2002 graduation from Tucson High.

“He never said what he was studying.”

When Timothy enlisted in the Air Force, Bowles said he was “stunned” but “I was all for it.”

He said Louis confided in his mother, Lisa, that he was unhappy at times growing up, as his father left for one deployment after another.

He didn’t understand his father’s military career was what took him away from home.

“He didn’t comprehend why I had to leave. He thought, ‘Dad was mad at us,’ ” he said.

The elder Bowles served in the first Gulf War in 1990 and 1991, he said.

In addition to his parents, who now live in Glorietta, N.M., he is survived by his older sister, Heather Ketchmark, who lives at Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia.

Timothy Bowles would have completed six years in the Air Force on May 13, his father said.

Timothy Bowles

Timothy Bowles

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