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Army 2nd Lt. Andre D. Tyson

Died June 22, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


33, of Riverside, Calif.; assigned to the 579th Engineer Battalion, Army National Guard, Petaluma, Calif.; killed June 22 when enemy forces ambushed his ground patrol in Balad, Iraq.

California soldier killed in Iraq

Associated Press

TRACY, Calif. — An ambush in Iraq on Tuesday has claimed the life of a California National Guard officer.

Second Lt. Andre Tyson was killed near the city of Balad, located 85 miles north of Baghdad, according to a California National Guard news release Wednesday. Fellow Guard member Spc. Patrick McCaffrey also was killed in the attack.

Both were members of Alpha Company, 579th Engineer Battalion, based in Petaluma.

Tyson, 34, lived in Riverside in Southern California and was an assistant manager at a Glendale Costco store before he was called up for active duty last fall.

“He was one of these people who commanded respect. People looked up to him,” his brother-in-law, Luis McDonald, told the Times.

“He loved the military,” said his cousin, Sigmund Crews. “All of his e-mails spoke positively about his experiences in Iraq.”

Tyson had been patrolling and gathering intelligence on insurgents in the farmlands outside Balad. Ten days before his death, he told a reporter that local people were hospitable to the soldiers, giving them tea and bread that he described as being “almost like homemade tortillas.”

Tyson went to early school in Los Angeles and was a graduate of Santa Maria High School on California’s Central Coast.

He was survived by his mother, Renee, and father, Lee, along with four sisters and a brother.


Soldier killed in Iraq ‘loved the military’

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — National Guardsman Andre Tyson, who was killed recently in an ambush in Iraq, enjoyed his military career and was happy about his experiences overseas, family members said.

Tyson, a second lieutenant in the California National Guard, was killed Tuesday in a barrage of gunfire from Iraqi insurgents during a patrol near the city of Balad, located 85 miles north of Baghdad.

Fellow Guard member Patrick McCaffrey, a 34-year-old Army specialist from Tracy, also died in the ambush, according to a California National Guard news release Wednesday.

Both were members of Alpha Company, 579th Engineer Battalion, based in Petaluma.

Tyson, who would have been 34 on July 28, lived in Riverside and was an assistant manager at a Glendale Costco store before he was called to active duty last fall.

“He loved the military,” said his cousin, Sigmund Crews told the Los Angeles Times. “All of his e-mails spoke positively about his experiences in Iraq.”

Tyson loved the military so much he signed up to be an Army reservist, said his sister, Carmen McDonald, who said she knew her brother was dead when she came home from work and Army officials were at the house.

“When I opened the door they were there, so I knew,” McDonald told The Press-Enterprise of Riverside. “They don’t come out for anything except that. I just started screaming, ‘No! No! No! No!”’

Tyson had been patrolling and gathering intelligence on insurgents in the farmlands outside Balad. Ten days before his death, he told a reporter that Iraqis were hospitable to the soldiers, giving them tea and bread that he described as being “almost like homemade tortillas.”

Tyson went to early school in Los Angeles and was a graduate of Santa Maria High School on California’s Central Coast.

He was survived by his mother, Renee, and father, Lee, along with four sisters and one brother.

— Associated Press

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2002   2001