updated 4/23/2004 9:43:22 AM ET 2004-04-23T13:43:22

The sisters of a woman soldier killed in Iraq earlier this month have been granted another 15 days of leave from duty there as they consider whether they will seek reassignment from the war zone, their father says.

John Witmer of New Berlin said Thursday that his daughters Rachel and Charity need time and privacy as they consider what to do.

“We’re just trying to drop out of the spotlight,” he said.

The two arrived at home April 12 on a 15-day leave to attend the funeral of Michelle, their 20-year-old sister and Charity’s twin, who was killed April 9 during an ambush attack in Baghdad.

Under Defense Department policy, when a soldier is killed while serving in a hostile area, other family members in the military may request a non-combat assignment.

Rachel Witmer, 24, serves with the 32nd Military Police Company, as did Michelle. The Wisconsin Army National Guard unit already has served a year in the Middle East and recently had its service extended an additional four months.

Charity Witmer is a sergeant and medic with the 118th Medical Battalion, which arrived in Baghdad in February.

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