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Army Capt. Bruno G. de Solenni

Died September 20, 2008 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

32, of Crescent City, Calif.; assigned to the Joint Forces Headquarters, Element Training Team, Oregon Army National Guard; died Sept. 20 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

Army Capt. Bruno de Solenni

The Associated Press

Oregon National Guard Capt. Dominic Oto described Bruno de Solenni as smart, kind and with a steel core that made him the best officer on the team.

“He loved the Afghans, and in combat never was there a better operator or leader,” Oto said. “The man was absolutely fearless.”

De Solenni, 32, of Crescent City, Calif., was killed by a roadside bomb Sept. 20 in Kandahar. He was a 1994 high school graduate and was assigned to the Joint Forces Headquarters.

Before being stationed in Afghanistan for the past nine months, the Oregon National Guardsman had served in Egypt and Iraq, where he had a previous brush with death.

“He was on patrol when he had a mortar — it turned out to be a dud — drop right between his legs,” said his father, Mario. “We always thought Bruno was invincible.”

He had labored as a crab fishermen and a logger and was working toward his bachelor’s degree from Southern Oregon University in Ashland.

“He was always one to inspire people, no matter where he was, he was able to bring out the good qualities in people,” said his brother, Gino.

He also is survived by his mother, Cali Martin.

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