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Army Pfc. John D. Hart

Died October 18, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

20, of Bedford, Mass.; assigned to 1st Battalion (Airborne), 508th Infantry Battalion, 173rd Infantry Brigade, Camp Ederle, Italy; killed in action Oct. 18 when enemy forces, using rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire, ambushed his patrol in Taza, Iraq.

Pfc. John D. Hart was as loving as he was lovable, sure to one day become a teacher or a counselor, his family said. But Hart wanted to be in the military, a resolve strengthened after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said his father, Brian Hart. Hart, 20, who enlisted in the Army after high school, was killed Oct. 18 when his patrol came under fire 160 miles north of Baghdad. "I know you had a warrior's heart. You dreamed of being a soldier and you lived your dream," the elder Hart said at a memorial service for his son in their hometown of Bedford, Mass. "I presumed you'd come back and become a teacher or a counselor. You already were a counselor to many." Brian Hart said he wished his son knew how his death had brought an entire town together in grief _ "a town united now in sorrow." He is also survived by his mother, Alma, and two sisters.

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