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Army Pfc. Derek A. Gibson

Died April 4, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

20, Eustis, Fla.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.; died April 4 in Baghdad when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations. Also killed was Pfc. Walter Freeman Jr.

Soldier from Eustis, Fla., killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

EUSTIS, Fla. — Pfc. Derek Gibson never got to watch the video his father was sending of Florida’s NCAA basketball championship over Ohio State.

The 20-year-old soldier was one of two killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, the military said April 9. Gibson’s family said they were told by Army officials that he was killed April 4 when an improvised explosive device hit his vehicle, according to the Daily Commercial of Leesburg.

Pfc. Walter Freeman Jr., 20, of Lancaster, Calif., also was killed, the military said.

Gibson, who loved fishing and the outdoors, enlisted in the Army about a year ago, along with his girlfriend, who is serving in Afghanistan, the newspaper reported.

Jerry Gibson last spoke to his son after the NCAA game and was sending the video along with magazines and some sports DVDs.

Before he left for Iraq, he told his friends and brother to have a beer in his honor and to go on with their lives if he died.

“He loved his friends and family. He liked to have fun. He loved Eustis,” his father said. “He had a good heart.

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