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Army Pfc. Charles E. Bush Jr.

Died December 19, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

43, of Buffalo, N.Y., assigned to 402nd Civil Affairs Battalion, 354th Civil Affairs Brigade, 352nd Civil Affairs Command, Army Reserve, based in Riverdale Park, Md.; killed while riding in a convoy Dec. 19 when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in Balad, Iraq.

Pfc. Charles E. Bush Jr. was a cook, and he had been expected home for the Christmas holiday. Instead, he volunteered for dangerous guard duty, working as a door gunner. Bush, 43, of Buffalo, N.Y., died Dec. 19 after his vehicle hit a homemade bomb in Balad, Iraq, just east of Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit. His Army Reserve unit was based in Riverdale Park, Md. "He put his life on the line when he could have been safe working as a cook," said his father, Charles E. Bush Sr. "He's my firstborn, my oldest, and I'm proud of him." Bush had joined the reserves "fairly late in life," Lt. Col. Hugh Van Roosen said, and had been stationed in Iraq for nearly a year. He also is survived by one child.

— Associated Press

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