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Army Pfc. Nicholas H. Blodgett

Died July 21, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

21, of Wyoming, Mich.; assigned to the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, Schweinfurt, Germany; killed July 21 when his patrol vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in Abdalluyah, Iraq.

When the deli where Nicholas Blodgett worked went out of business, he looked for a job in security. "But they wanted people with military experience," said Paula Blodgett, his step-grandmother. "He'd always wanted to either be in the military or a cop, so he joined the Army." Blodgett, 21, of Wyoming, Mich., was killed July 21 in Abdalluyah, Iraq, when his patrol vehicle hit an improvised explosive device. Six other soldiers were injured in the blast. Blodgett was a quiet leader at his high school, playing in the school band and taking tae kwon do lessons with his parents, Rita and Robert Blodgett Jr., and his brother, Matthew, 20. "What I remember about him is that he returned the year after graduation to help out with the color guard," said school principal Steve Passinault. "He wanted to find a way to stay involved." Blodgett, who was stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany, had been home for a visit in November and was excited about going overseas. His family had been looking forward to another visit in August.

— Associated Press

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