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Army Pfc. Charles C. Persing

Died July 19, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

20, of Albany, La.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry, 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.; killed July 19 when multiple mortar rounds hit his forward operating base in Iskandariyah, Iraq.

Early on in his Army days, Charles "C.C." Persing talked about making the military his career. Then, he toyed with the idea of becoming a police officer. He settled on going to college after his stint was up. "He was going to buy some land and take care of his mama and his brother," said Persing's aunt, Lena Bouley. Persing, 20, of Albany, La., was killed July 19 by an explosion. He was based at Fort Drum, N.Y. Persing enlisted after graduating from high school in 2002, relatives said. Persing's father died when he was young. His mother, Betty Persing, was struggling financially then, so relatives took custody of C.C. and his younger brother, Robert, now 17. "He never was with his mama that long, but he always thought about his family," Bouley said. "He was like a regular kid. He'd shoot the basketball outside. He was always happy, joking around and trying to make people pleased with him. ... We can't believe it."

— Associated Press

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