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Army Capt. Michael A. Norman

Died January 31, 2008 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

36, of Killeen, Texas; assigned to the Military Transition Team, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; died Jan. 31 in Baghdad of wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device.

Captain remembered for his rapport with soldiers

The Associated Press

A former enlisted soldier who studied Korean at the Defense Language Institute, Army Capt. Michael A. Norman had a special rapport with his own soldiers after he became an officer.

He gave them cards with his phone number on them, and told them to call him if they drank too much and needed to be picked up.

“He would come and get you, no questions asked,” said Sgt. 1st Class Terry Brown. “Instead of beating you down, he said, ‘Learn from your mistakes.’ He said it makes them a better person, a better soldier.”

Norman, 36, of Killeen, Texas, was killed Jan. 31 in Baghdad by an explosion. He got his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and was assigned to Fort Riley, Kan.

“All the old ladies at church thought he was God-sent. He knew when they got a new hairstyle or were wearing a new dress,” said his mother, Beverly Norman.

That’s because Michael cared about clothes. “He has more shoes than me,” said his wife, June. His shoes had to match everything he wore.

He also liked playing the guitar and was always singing. At their engagement party, Michael sang Elvis’ “Fools Rush In.”

He is survived by two children, Sammy, 10, and Summer, 4.

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