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Army Pfc. Brian M. Wolverton

Died August 20, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

21, of Oak Park, Calif.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.; died Aug. 20 in Asadabad, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with indirect fire.

Fifth-generation soldier attacked his fears with courage

The Associated Press

Two years after graduating from high school in Oak Park, Calif., Brian Wolverton returned to help coach the hurdlers on the track team.

The athletes he worked with affectionately called him “Wolvie” or “Coach Wolvie.”

“He was a vocal, enthusiastic coach who motivated his runners to find personal success,” said Kevin Smith, the Oak Park track coach. “He developed a devoted following among his charges.

Wolverton, 21, was killed Aug. 20 when insurgents attacked his unit in Kunar province, Afghanistan. He was based at Fort Drum, N.Y.

Wolverton ran on the Oak Park High School track team before graduating in 2006. Lyle Greenberg, an assistant track coach, said a quote Wolverton picked to appear next to his senior yearbook photo reads: “Courage is facing your fear; with no fear there is no courage.”

“Once Brian decided that he wanted to do something, he usually worked very hard to achieve his goals or at least gave it his best efforts,” said his mother, Miriam Wolverton.

Brian Wolverton earned an associates degree from Moonpark College, according to the Armed Forces News Service.

When Wolverton enlisted in January, his family said, he became a fifth-generation soldier. His great-great-grandfather served in the Union Army during the Civil War.

“I was very proud of him,” his father Christopher Wolverton said.

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