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Army Pfc. Aaron J. Rusin

Died October 11, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

19, of Johnstown, Pa.; assigned to the 44th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Howze, Korea; died Oct. 11 in Baghdad of injuries sustained Oct. 10 when his military vehicle came under fire from enemy forces.

Aaron Rusin spent most of his spare time at local fire departments as a volunteer, even when he was home on leave from the Army. "He was awesome. He was one of those kids who would do anything. You never had to ask him twice," said Barry Emerson, assistant chief for the Jackson Township fire department. Rusin, 19, of Johnstown, Pa., died Oct. 11 after being shot while driving in a military convoy, less than a month after he arrived in Iraq. He was based at Camp Howze, South Korea. An honors student, Rusin played football and ran track in high school and was a volunteer firefighter with two departments. Fellow firefighters described him as selfless and dutiful. He joined the Army after graduating from high school, in part to be like his father, three uncles and grandfather, who all served. He also wanted to use the GI Bill to pay for school. He is survived by his parents, Tim and Sandra Rusin. Tim Rusin said he had last talked with his son about a week ago. "He said everything was fine over there but he wanted to come home."

— Associated Press

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