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Army Pfc. Aaron J. Ward

Died May 6, 2008 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

19, of San Jacinto, Calif.; assigned to the 170th Military Police Company, 504th Military Police Battalion, 42nd Military Police Brigade, Fort Lewis, Wash.; died May 6 in Asad, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his unit came under small arms fire while conducting cordon and search operations.

Army Pfc. Aaron J. Ward remembered

The Associated Press

Aaron J. Ward had just arrived in Iraq in March but had already made an impression on his unit.

“He always made the best of any situation,” said Spc. Nicholas Dechicko, a military policeman.

Ward, 19, of San Jacinto, Calif., was killed May 6 by small-arms fire in Anbar province. He was assigned to Fort Lewis.

“Aaron was a great kid,” said his uncle, Gary Tolle. “He was kind to everybody, and he was a very warm and loving soul.”

Tolle said Ward looked up to several family members who served in the military and wanted to carve a career for himself with the Army. “He wanted to make a difference,” Tolle said. “He respected the military and he felt it an honor to serve.”

Everyone who spoke of Ward mentioned the smile that was always on his face and the joy that he brought to others around him. Ward “was full of energy, full of life and made you smile,” said Army Capt. Chad Johnson.

“He was a great soldier and an excellent friend,” said Army Pfc. Eric Giles, a military policeman who has served with Ward since basic training.

He is survived by his parents, Paul and Debra.

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