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Army Sgt. Gregory A. Belanger

Died August 27, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of Narragansett, R.I.; assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Service Company, 325th Military Intelligence Battalion, Army Reserve, based at Ayer, Mass.; killed Aug. 27 when an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle in Hallia, Iraq.

Rhode Island soldier with Michigan roots dies in Iraq

Associated Press

DEERFIELD, Mass. — An Army officer who grew up in Deerfield with a love of cooking was killed in Iraq.

Sgt. Gregory Belanger, 24, of Narragansett, R.I., was with the 325th Military Intelligence Battalion, attached to the 94th Regional Readiness Command, when the convoy was attacked Aug. 27.

According to the Army, initial reports show that Belanger was killed in Hallia, Iraq, when an explosive struck his vehicle.

Belanger is the first soldier from Rhode Island to die in Iraq since the start of U.S.-led military operations there, according to the Pentagon.

His father, Ed Belanger, told The Recorder of Greenfield that his son enlisted in the Army Reserve and was called up to active duty shortly after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Belanger graduated from Johnson and Wales University in 2001 with a degree in culinary arts before entering the Army as a cook.

“He was a whiz,” his mother, Cathy Belanger, told The Recorder. “He was creative and could take whatever was in the refrigerator and pull out this gourmet dish from his soul and his head.”

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