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Army Sgt. Daniel J. Beard

Died April 3, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of Buffalo, N.Y.; assigned to the 147th Postal Company, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, Wiesbaden, Germany; died April 3 in Al Diwaniyah, Iraq, of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident.

Commander says Beard was ‘excellent soldier’

The Associated Press

Daniel J. Beard was proud to be in the Army and his family was equally as proud of Beard’s service to the country — he was the family’s first to serve in the military.

“He put his life on the line for all of us,” his sister Deleris Austin said.

Beard, 24, of Buffalo, N.Y., died April 3 in Al Diwaniyah of injuries from a non-combat incident. He was assigned to Wiesbaden, Germany.

Beard had just finished running a few miles and was in line for a weigh-in when he collapsed, his family said. Officials tried to revive Beard, but they were unsuccessful.

“Beard was an excellent soldier,” said his commander, Capt. Ramon Torres. Torres further described Beard as “eager and motivated.”

Born in Buffalo, Sgt. Beard was a 2003 graduate of Seneca Vocational High School and briefly attended Erie Community College before enlisting in February 2005.

He also is survived by his wife, Yolanda.

Beard was expected home on leave in August and planned a vacation in Jamaica before returning for his next tour of duty.

“He always had a smile on his face,” said Austin.

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