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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 Spc. Paul T. Nakamura

Died June 19, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


21, of Santa Fe Springs, Calif.; assigned to 437th Medical Company, based in Colorado Springs, Colo.; killed by enemy fire on June 19 in Iskandariyah, Iraq.

Nakamura was part of an ambulance crew transporting an injured soldier when the vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.


His father had concerns, but Paul T. Nakamura was intent on joining the Army Reserves. His motivation: patriotism. “One day he said, ‘Mom, Dad, I’m so proud I was born in the United States,’ ” said his mother, Yoko, of Santa Fe Springs, Calif.

Nakamura was a lifeguard who had taught swimming since he was 17 and belonged to the high school water polo team, said his sister, Pearl Nakamura. Family members recalled him as a rascal and a risk-taker.

“You would tell him not to do something, and he would do it anyway,” his sister said. On Father’s Day, the family spoke with him for the last time. “The first thing he told me was that he had showered and had steak for dinner — we know he was lying,” said his father, Paul. “He didn’t want us to worry.”

— Associated Press

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