Based: Ft. Bragg, N.C.
405th Civil Affairs Battalion
Supporting: Operation Enduring Freedom
Died: September 8, 2006
High School: King High School (Corpus Christi, Texas)
Howard, 52, was the oldest female casualty of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. An 18-year veteran of the Army Reserve, she was killed Sept. 8 when a car bomb exploded near the armored Humvee carrying Howard and 15 others in the capital city of Kabul. Another Army reservist also was killed.Read the entire LA Times article here and read more about Army Reserve Sergeant 1st Class Merideth L. Howard here, here and here.
A sergeant first class, Howard was assigned to the 364th Civil Affairs Brigade, helping to rebuild roads and water systems, and acting as a liaison between the Afghan people and the military.
Born in Corpus Christi in 1954, Howard, an only child, spent her childhood crabbing and fishing in sensitive ocean habitat at Laguna Madre, a channel along the Texas coast.
"For her 16th birthday, she wanted a fishing rod, and her parents bought it for her," said Hvolboll, 46. She also liked water skiing and duck hunting.
After graduating from King High School in 1973, she earned bachelor's and master's degrees in marine resource management from Texas A&M University.
"But she got seasick every time they went out on a survey," Hvolboll said, adding that she chose to work as a firefighter instead.
In 1978, she became the first female firefighter in the Bryan City Fire Department in Texas.
Howard is survived by both her husband, Hugh K. Hvolboll, and her cousin, Melissa K. Lanier.