KABUL, Afghanistan (WIS/AP) - A civilian contractor from the Midlands was killed in an attack on a U.S. base in eastern Afghanistan, according to family members.
U.S. military officials say three men wearing Afghan army uniforms and driving an Afghan army vehicle forced their way onto the base on Friday and opened fire, killing Inez "Renee" Baker of Cayce.
Baker, 51, served 26 years in the Army before retiring late last year and taking a job as a trainer. Family members say she served several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan before moving to the private sector.
Baker graduated from Brookland-Cayce High School in 1979. She is survived by two sisters who live in Cayce and two sons, ages 22 and 28.
Baker's impact on young soldiers was evident in a phone call her family received.
"A group of soldiers down in Orlando called and we didn't know them, but they called us and told us sorry and gave us condolences for what happened and said, 'Hey, she was a joy to have,' because she mentored and trained most of them," said Baker's nephew, Daniel Odom.
Baker always made time for family even if it was over the phone.
"She had a fulfilled life," said Odom. "We all wish it was a lot longer, but she had a fulfilled life. She went out and she touched people and lived life her way no matter what. She did things her way."
Spokesman Maj. Adam Wojack says all three attackers were killed, and Afghan and NATO coalition officials are now investigating. The incident took place in Tagab district in Kapisa.
An Afghan official in Kapisa province says only that there was a clash between Afghan and U.S. forces that resulted in casualties. He spoke anonymously because the investigation is ongoing.
A Taliban spokesman says they did not carry out the attack. Other smaller insurgent groups are also active in the area.
Memorial services for Baker have not yet been announced.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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