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Army 1st Lt. David R. Bernstein

Died October 18, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of Phoenixville, Pa.; assigned to 1st Battalion (Airborne), 508th Infantry Battalion, 173rd Infantry Brigade, Camp Ederle, Italy; killed Oct. 18 when enemy forces, using rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire, ambushed his patrol in Taza, Iraq.

Valedictorian at his suburban Philadelphia high school and fifth in his class at the U.S. Military Academy, 1st Lt. David R. Bernstein had the intelligence and ambition to do anything he wanted.

“What he wanted was to do something for his country,” said his father, Richard Bernstein.

Bernstein, 24, assigned to the 173rd Infantry Brigade based in Italy, was killed Oct. 18 when his patrol came under fire 160 miles north of Baghdad.

Bernstein, who grew up in Austin, Texas, and moved to Phoenixville, Pa., was “an athlete and a scholar,” his father said. He was a swim team member at West Point and enjoyed running, bicycling and competing in triathlons.

“David was a soldier,” said Richard Bernstein, who now lives in Knoxville, Tenn. “If the leadership made decisions, then he tried to follow them. He appreciated serving his country.”

He is also survived by his mother, Gail, and a brother and sister.

— Associated Press

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