Memorial services have been scheduled for retired Command Sgt. Maj. Elijah King, Jr., 64, who died Sunday.
King’s memorial service will be at 10 a.m. March 24 at Lifeway Fellowship in Killeen with Pastor Jimmy Towers officiating, said retired Sgt. Maj. Frank Minosky, who spoke on behalf of the King family. Burial services will be at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery at noon, following the memorial.
The King family wanted to allow enough time for family members, and friends from out of the area to be at the memorial service, Minosky said.
King is survived by his wife, Debbie Nash-King, three daughters, one son and one grandson.
King’s wife issued a statement via Minosky sending thanks to all the family, friends and associates for the overwhelming support, condolences and well wishes while the family deals with this difficult time.
Nash-King is one of two Killeen City Council candidates for the District 2 seat. She is running against Larry Smith.
Elijah King was born in Tuskegee, Ala. King enlisted in the Army in August 1977. Along with serving in Korea and Germany, he is a veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Storm and served two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He retired from the U.S. Army in 2007 as command sergeant major of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, at Fort Hood.
During his service in the U.S. Army, King was a recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including the Legion of Merit, and three Bronze Star medals for his service in combat.
King is also well known in the Killeen community and in veterans circles.
Following his military career, he continued to support the military and community through positions in various organizations, serving as co-chairman of the Fort Hood Retired Council and the chairman of the Central Texas Area Veterans Advisory Committee. He was a member of the Killeen Branch NAACP and served on the board of directors for Killeen Independent School District Communities in Schools, and on the Military Child Education Coalition.
In November 2016, the Army celebrated King’s accomplishments.
Word of King’s death reached local circles on Sunday. U.S. Rep. John R. Carter, R-Round Rock, and others issued a statement Sunday.
“Elijah served our great nation with pride and honor. He was a relentless supporter and voice for Veterans across Central Texas. He was a dedicated member of my Veterans Council, and a well deserving recipient of my Congressional Veterans Commendation award. Today we have lost a giant in the Veterans community. His passing will be felt by many, and leaves a distinct hole in our hearts.”
“We lost a great soldier and a great friend, someone who was always helping veterans and people in the community,” said Jean Shine, who is a civilian aide to the secretary of the Army. “He helped reach out across the state of Texas and the nation to help other Vietnam veterans and make sure they were recognized.”