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Army 1st Lt. Jeremy E. Ray

Died December 20, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

26, of Houston; assigned to the 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas; died Dec. 20 in Kanaan, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an enemy attacked using an explosive device.

Houston soldier killed by suicide bomber

The Associated Press

HOUSTON — A Houston soldier killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq is being remembered as a quiet man who loved the outdoors and playing his guitar.

1st Lt. Jeremy E. Ray, 26, died Dec. 20 in Kanaan when a man wearing an explosives vest blew himself up while U.S. soldiers were doing a security check at a city council meeting.

“He was a good guy,” 1st Lt. Charlie Huey, 26, who is stationed at Fort Hood with the field artillery unit, said in a story in the Dec. 22 online edition of the Houston Chronicle. “He played his guitar a lot. He was kind of a quiet guy, the type of guy you’d want to hang out with.”

Ray was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, at Fort Hood.

Ray graduated from Texas A&M University in 2006. He deployed to Iraq on Nov. 8.

“We received three e-mails from him while he was over there,” his father, Randy Ray, told the newspaper. “He was just saying that he really couldn’t tell us where he was, but that they were somewhere in northern Iraq, setting up a forward operation base called ‘Warhorse.’ ”

Huey, who roomed with Ray at A&M, said that while Ray had a quiet side, he wasn’t a pushover.

He recalled what happened when some freshmen left a dead rat outside a house where they were staying.

“[Ray] found out who did it and we went over to the Corps’ room at the dorm,” Huey said. “We went inside and had a ‘discussion’ with them. After that, we never had a problem with them again.”

Randy Ray said the news of his son’s death was still sinking in.

“I don’t have any feeling. I’m just very numb,” he said. “I have a lot of inner feelings penned up about the war.”

Ray said he and his wife, Deborah, had a constant stream of well-wishers at their home.

“The phone’s been ringing off the hook, and close family members are here with us,” he said. “Without that family support we’d be lost.”

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