A 32-year-old Utah soldier was killed by small-arms fire in Iraq on Tuesday.

Sgt. Nathan L. Winder, who grew up in Blanding, was a U.S. Special Forces medic assigned to an airborne unit, family spokesman Bill Boyle said. The career soldier died while assisting a quick retaliation team engaged in combat outside Diwaniyah, according to Boyle.

He had been part of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group based out of Fort Lewis, Wash.

Winder, adopted at the age of 2 from Seoul, South Korea, was the third member of his family to serve in Iraq, Boyle said. Two of his brothers also served.

Winder is one of nine children adopted by Tom and Terri Winder of Blanding. The couple also has 10 biological children, Boyle said.

Winder left Blanding 14 years ago to pursue a career in the armed forces. In that time, he has been deployed worldwide.

The soldier graduated from a Special Forces Qualification Course in Fort Bragg, N.C., in 2006 and had earned a Green Beret.

He leaves behind his South African wife, Mechelle Winder, and their 11-year-old son, Logan. They were living in Canada with Mechelle Winder's sister during the soldier's deployment, Boyle said.

The Blanding community has reached out to the Winder family.

"It's a typical small town," Boyle said. "There's overwhelming support for a community honoring one of their members."

Boyle, publisher of the San Juan Record newspaper, volunteered to be the family's spokesman after visiting with them to express support, he said.

Family members have asked not to be contacted by the media but expressed, through Boyle, pride in their son.

"They're shocked and sorrowed, like you'd expect," Boyle said. "But they're a strong family."


E-mail: rpalmer@desnews.com