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Army 1st Lt. Doyle M. Hufstedler

Died March 31, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

25, of Abilene, Texas; assigned to the Army’s 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; killed March 31 when an improvised explosive device hit his armored personnel carrier in Habbaniyah, Iraq.

Dead soldier’s wife was waiting for him with parents in Charlotte

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The pregnant wife of a soldier killed March 31 in Iraq had been waiting for his return in Charlotte, where she worked as a substitute teacher in a church nursery school and tried to distract herself by working in the garden.

Leslie and Doyle Hufstedler met at Texas A&M University three years ago while they picked up class rings. He proposed to her in the end zone at halftime of a football game and joined the Army as a second lieutenant.

He was assigned to the 1st Engineer Battalion based at Fort Riley, Kan. Doyle Hufstedler, 25, of Abilene, Texas, was among five who died Wednesday when a bomb detonated under their M-113 in Malahma, Iraq.

The Hufstedlers celebrated their first wedding anniversary in August. A few days later, they learned Leslie, 24, was pregnant. In less than a week, Doyle Hufstedler headed to Iraq.

Leslie moved into her parents’ south Charlotte home. She routinely checked the early morning news for reports from the increasingly violent Sunni triangle.

“Morbid curiosity,” she said.

The couple agreed during telephone calls on a name for their baby. Doyle was working to arrange a 15-day leave to hold the baby.

Military officers notified Leslie Hufstedler at her parents’ home that her husband had died in the roadside bomb attack.

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