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Army Pfc. Wilfred D. Bellard

Died April 4, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

20, of Lake Charles, La.; assigned to 41st Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Stewart, Ga.; killed in a vehicle accident in Iraq.

Pfc. Wilfred Bellard, 20, of Lake Charles, La., was married weeks before he deployed to the Middle East. His wife, Latricia, is expecting their second child on Easter Sunday. The couple also have a 1-year-old son.

Bellard and two other soldiers out of Fort Stewart, Ga., were in a Humvee, carrying munitions and supplies to front-line forces in Baghdad, when they plunged into a ravine April 4 while swerving to avoid mortars and military fire, according to relatives briefed by the military. All three men died.

Named after his grandfather, Bellard attended Lake Charles Boston High School but graduated from a high school in Georgia, his mother, Janet Brooks, said.

He was killed April 4 when the vehicle he was riding in fell into an Iraqi ravine.

“My son was proud of his job in the military. He told me he loved it and was ready to go to Iraq and get the job done,” Brooks said. “To me, my son is a hero. To me, all of those guys are heroes, both the living and the dead.”

— USA Today

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