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Army Sgt. 1st Class Robert E. Rooney

Died September 25, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

43, of Nashua, N.H.; assigned to the 379th Engineer Company, U.S. Army National Guard, based in Bourne, Mass.; died Sept. 25 at Shuabai Port, Kuwait, when he was struck by a forklift.

Sgt. 1st Class Robert Rooney's passion was following the NASCAR circuit and his favorite driver Jeff Gordon. While he was stationed in Kuwait, a friend taped the races and sent them to him. "Jeff Gordon was his idol," said his wife, Diane Rooney. "He has so much (Gordon) stuff in this house, it's not funny. That's pretty much all we would buy him for Christmas." Rooney, 43, was killed Sept. 25 in a forklift accident in Kuwait, where he had been stationed with his Massachusetts National Guard unit, which was based in Bourne, Mass. A longtime resident of Plymouth, Mass., Rooney was deployed with his unit to Kuwait in January. Before that, he worked at Otis Air Force Base and Camp Edwards, both on Cape Cod, most recently as an operational maintenance shop chief. Besides his wife, survivors include two sons and a daughter.

— Associated Press

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