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Honoring those who fought and died in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn
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Army Sgt. Gregory Owens Jr.

Died July 20, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom


24, of Garland, Texas; assigned to the 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery (Strike), 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.; died July 20 in Maydan Shahr, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle followed by an attack from enemy forces using small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. Also killed were Spc. Anthony M. Lightfoot, Spc. Andrew J. Roughton and Pfc. Dennis J. Pratt.

Followed dad’s footsteps by joining military

The Associated Press

Gregory Owens Jr. had an attitude of thinking of others first. When his sister had her appendix removed one summer, he kept her company for an entire week.

And instead of taking his scheduled leave from duty in Afghanistan in July, he swapped shifts with another soldier so that he’d be home in mid-October as a surprise for his father’s 50th birthday.

Owens, 24, of Garland, Texas, died July 20 in Wardak province, Afghanistan when his vehicle was hit with a roadside bomb and enemy fire. He was based in Fort Drum, N.Y.

“He always put others before himself,” said his mother, LaDonna. “He made time to spend with other people and to listen to them.”

He was born in Germany during his father’s military service and had followed in those footsteps by joining the Army in 2007. He had graduated with honors in 2002 from Hillcrest High School, where he kept a full schedule but still managed to find time to roughhouse with his younger brothers and play sports with them.

“He did everything to keep my mom busy 24/7: band, Boy Scouts, church,” said his sister, Shelena.

Owens is survived by his parents, sister and younger brothers, Lamar and Jonathan.

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