Tennessee soldier, back from Kuwait, drowns

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Tennessee National Guard member who returned from duty in the Middle East last month drowned in an abandoned quarry.

Specialist Justin Woods went swimming with friends on Saturday at a quarry on private property near Columbia.

Thirteen-year-old Matthew Smith was among the swimmers and he tried to rescue Woods, but the boy said the soldier sank too fast for him to hold on.

Sharon and Allen Woods said they don't hold their son's friends accountable for his death, but Allen Woods said the quarry wasn't a swimming hole and the fence around it was put up for a reason.

Justin Woods was a member of the 1175th Transportation Company of the Tennessee National Guard.

The soldier's funeral is scheduled for Wednesday at First Family-First Baptist Church in Columbia.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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