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Army Pfc. Nathan E. Stahl

Died September 21, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

20, of Highland, Ind.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Lewis, Wash.; killed Sept. 21 in Iraq when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device.

Fort Lewis-based soldier dies in Iraq

Associated Press

HIGHLAND, Ind. — Friends remembered a soldier from northwestern Indiana who was killed in Iraq as an upbeat man who was a fan of war movies like “Band of Brothers” and dreamed of becoming an Army Ranger.

Pfc. Nathan E. Stahl reached his goal of becoming a member of the elite unit and had been stationed in Iraq since the summer of 2003. Stahl, 20, of Highland, died Tuesday when his vehicle was struck by an “improvised explosive device,” the Department of Defense said.

A military spokeswoman said no additional information was available on Stahl’s death, including where in Iraq he died.

Stahl, a 2003 graduate of Highland High School in the town about five miles southwest of Gary, was a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment from Fort Lewis, Wash.

While Stahl’s family was at church Thursday night, a group of his friends filled the family’s yard with yellow ribbons.

“He’s a great guy. It shouldn’t have happened to him but anybody would say that about anybody. He had a big heart,” said Dena Hemphill, of Merrillville, who dated Stahl for three years in high school.

Stahl at first was sent to the airborne infantry for training but was “ecstatic” when he later was able to join the Rangers, Hemphill said.

His survivors include two sisters, Hemphill said.

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