KIA November 16, 2004
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to 2nd Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Corps Reserve, Grand Prairie, Texas
LCpl Louis W. Qualls died November 16, 2004 from wounds sustained while conducting door-to-door sweeps in search of insurgents in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He is survived by his father, Gary; and his brother, David.
Louis was born and raised in Temple, Texas with his brother by his father, a single parent. He was a Boy Scout and grew up attending the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Louis was also a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, winning championships at the regional, state, national and junior Olympic levels. In addition, he and his father shared a passion for Harley Davidson motorcycles and went riding together often. Friends and family say the strong bond between Louis and his father, who served in three wars while with the Active Army and National Guard, played a major role in Louis enlisting in the Marines.
He graduated from Temple High School in 2002, where he was a leader in the Air Force ROTC program, a linebacker in football, a member of the track team and in the top 10 percent of his graduating class. Confident in what he wanted, Louis enlisted in the Marines with his father’s blessing and left for training on his 18th birthday, June 25, 2002. Friends and family emphasized that even though he wanted to emulate his father, he was a young man who followed his convictions when he volunteered to serve his country.
Louis enlisted in the Marines but transferred to the reserves as an arrangement with the government that would eventually move him to the Army, where he wanted to become a career special forces officer. However, the opportunity to go to Iraq was not something Louis was willing to pass up. In total, Louis volunteered to go to Iraq four times before he was killed. According to his gunny sergeant, Louis saved the lives of his whole platoon. They had been under fire, and he ran across the street, drawing the attention of an insurgent loading a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) at the cost of his own life.
Louis was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Navy Achievement Medal with Valor for his actions.
LCpl Louis Qualls was 20 years old from Temple, Texas
Original portrait was delivered in November 2007 to his father at his home in Temple, Texas.
Sponsored for family by:
Jack Taylor, Graford, Texas