InnaLillahi Wa inna Ilahi Raji'un
Hatim was born in Gujrat, and came to the US seeking a better life for himself, as do so many members of the Bohra community. The report in the Dallas Morning News has some detail about his surviving family:
Spc. Kathiria is survived by his father, Siraj Kathiria; mother, Shirin Kathiria; and two sisters, Kahdija Kathiria and Habiba Kathiria, all of Dahod, India.
Spc. Kathiria was born July 1, 1982, in Dahod in the Indian state of Gujarat.
Spc. Kathiria's uncle, Nuruddin Kathiria of Fort Worth, said that Spc. Kathiria was a bright, energetic and ambitious young man who came to the United States in June 2003 determined to enter service in the U.S. military.
Spc. Kathiria enlisted in the Army in November 2003. He obtained his U.S. citizenship in January 2004. Mr. Kathiria said Spc. Kathiria was in the process of obtaining a military secrecy clearance.
Mr. Kathiria said his nephew had a bachelor's degree in computer science and wanted to pursue a master's degree.
"It looked like a good future for him. He was progressing pretty fast, but it ended pretty fast," Mr. Kathiria said. "That's what shocked us."
I am in the process of trying to reach Nuruddin bhai in the Dallas jamaat to get some more information about Hatimbhai.
There is also a piece in the Times of India that goes into more detail about Hatim's ambitions. He was still an Indian citizen, who joined the Army in the hope that he could fund his studies and pursue the American dream. I know of only a few other Bohras serving in the armed forces, but Hatim bhai exemplified the spirit of my community.
Hatim also shares the distinction with Sergeant Uday Singh, a Sikh, of being one of two Indian nationals to have been killed in active duty in the US Armed Forces. Sergeant Singh was cremated with full military honors in his native Punjab and the ashes interred in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC.