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Brother: Slain soldier prepared for ‘anything'

Apr. 1, 2013 - 12:38PM   |  
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Before leaving for Afghanistan, Army Sgt. Michael C. Cable quietly met with several family members and relayed to them the hazards of his upcoming deployment. The meetings were unusual because Cable didn't talk much about what happened on his previous tour of duty in Iraq.

To Cable's brother, 42-year-old Raymond Johnston of Owensboro, it now seems like the soldier had an idea he might not survive.

“After learning everything I've learned ... Maybe he knew about what he was getting into and how dangerous it was,” Johnston said. “He was able to communicate to the family about if the worst was supposed to happen, what we were supposed to do.”

Cable, 26, of Philpot in western Kentucky, died March 24. The Army said he was attacked by enemy forces. Johnston told The Associated Press on Monday that someone sneaked up behind his brother and stabbed him in the neck while he worked guard duty in Shinwar, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

“I know an enemy came out and stabbed him,” Johnston said. “That's what we've gotten so far out of it.”

Afghan and American dignitaries were attending the swearing-in ceremony of Afghan Local Police in Shinwar district in Nangarhar province, senior district official Zalmai Khan said. Afghan Local Police, or ALP, recruits are drawn from villages and backed by the U.S. military.

The soldier was playing with a group of children outside when the attacker came from behind and stabbed him in the neck with a large knife, Khan told the AP, adding the young man had escaped to nearby Pakistan.

“He was prepared before he left for anything that happened,” Johnston said.

Johnston said family members are waiting to find out more information from the Army about what exactly happened to Cable, who was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell. He had joined the Army in 2007.

Johnston said his brother's body will return to Owensboro on Thursday. Visitation was set for Friday at Haley-McGinnis Funeral Home in Owensboro with burial set for Saturday.

During that last conversation, Cable asked his family to take care of his sisters and a close friend, who he described as the “three most important people in his life,” Johnston said.

Now, Cable's family awaits the funeral and tries to remember Cable's sense of humor and spirit.

“We've got our ups and downs. It's very hard. He was my little buddy,” Johnston said. “He wanted to make sure that no matter what, we continued to enjoy life. And, we're trying to do that.”

Associated Press Writer Kim Gamel in Kabul, Afghanistan contributed to this report.

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