South Carolina soldier collapses, dies in Iraq

Melissa HobartSouth Carolina soldier collapses, dies in Iraq

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The mother of a South Carolina woman who died in the war in Iraq says she wants her 3-year-old granddaughter to know her mother didn’t just abandon her.

Army Pfc. Melissa Hobart, 22, of Ladson, died Sunday in Baghdad after collapsing while on guard duty, the Defense Department said. She was the second South Carolina woman to die in the war in Iraq.

Hobart’s mother, Constance, was distraught over her daughter’s death. She was concerned about her granddaughter, who she has helped raise. “She always says, ‘My mommy’s in the Army fighting bad people.’ I don’t want her to think that she didn’t come, that she just left her. I want her to know her mother,” Constance Hobart told The Associated Press by telephone Monday night.

She fought through tears describing her daughter’s attempt “to make a better life for herself” by joining the Army roughly a year ago. “I’m falling apart,” Constance Hobart said. “She left a daughter that’s only three years old.”

Hobart was assigned to Company E, 215th Forward Support Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, which is based out of Fort Hood, Texas. She had been in Iraq since early March, said her brother, Gary Hobart.

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