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Army Staff Sgt. Michael B. Shackelford

Died November 28, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


25, of Grand Junction, Colo.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Howze, Korea; killed Nov. 28 when his unit was conducting a dismounted patrol and encountered enemy forces using small-arms fire in Ramadi, Iraq. Also killed was Army Sgt. Carl W. Lee.

Colorado family remembers soldier killed in Iraq

Associated Press

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Staff Sgt. Michael Shackelford’s family remembered him as an adventurous youth with a rebellious streak who always wanted to be in the military.

The 25-year-old died Sunday while on patrol in Ramadi, Iraq.

Serving in the military is a family tradition for the men in the family, said James, Shackelford’s older brother. Michael Shackelford followed his father, Andy, into the Army and served in Korea and Kosovo.

“He believed in what he was doing,” James Shackelford said. “He loved what he was doing.”

Shackelford and another soldier died in an attack from small-arms fire while on foot patrol. Both were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, out of Camp Howze, South Korea.

Shackelford retained his adventurous streak as an adult, said Marine Sgt. Jesse Leech, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

“He was one of those guys that is like dynamite in a box,” said Leech, who met Shackelford when both went to Central High School in Grand Junction. “He was always in a good mood. He’d joke about anything.”

Leech said he and Shackelford were “cowboy types” who went to rodeos and country music concerts. They were part of a group whose members planned to go into the military after high school.

Shackelford graduated from Central in 1997 and went to boot camp that August.

The last time Leech saw Shackelford was several years ago at Fort Bragg, S.C, where Shackelford was stationed. “He was a great friend who was a good soldier ... he was a good brother,” Leech said.

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