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Army Pfc. Bryce E. Gautier

Died April 10, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

22, of Cypress, Calif.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.; died April 10 in Mosul, Iraq, when his vehicle was struck by a suicide bomber. Also killed were Staff Sgt. Gary L. Woods Jr., Sgt. 1st Class Bryan E. Hall, Sgt. Edward W. Forrest Jr. and Cpl. Jason G. Pautsch.

Gautier envisioned career as nurse

The Associated Press

Bryce E. Gautier decided to join the Army two years ago, writing on his MySpace page: “I am ready to finally grow up.”

“I need a change, I need some structure,” he wrote. “I want to have my family be proud of me for what and who I am.”

Gautier, 22, of Cypress, Calif., died April 10 when his vehicle was struck by an explosive in Mosul. He was assigned to Fort Carson.

He graduated from Rancho Alamitos High School in Garden Grove in 2005. He was captain on the water polo team in his senior year and according to his yearbook was voted “most dependable” of the senior class.

Gautier posted to his MySpace page as he trained to become a combat medic. After leaving the service, he intended to become a nurse.

His brother Evan said Gautier had the ability to remain calm in emergencies and never flinched at the site of blood.

“He always really wanted to help people,” his brother said. “He was going to hopefully make a difference, saving lives.”

He also is survived by his mother, Heidi Frankel. Gautier’s father — whom he described as “my biggest hero ever” — died April 10, 2008, one year to the day of his death.

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