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Army Sgt. James M. Clay

Died November 13, 2008 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

25, of Mountain Home, Ark.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment, 39th Brigade Combat Team, Arkansas Army National Guard, Little Rock, Ark.; died Nov. 13 in Anbar province, Iraq, of injuries sustained in a vehicle accident.

Army: Iraq accident kills Mountain Home man

The Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A soldier from Mountain Home died Thursday of injuries he suffered in a vehicle accident in Iraq, the Army says.

Sgt. James M. Clay, 25, died in Anbar province in western Iraq, according to a news release from the Defense Department.

Clay was serving with the Arkansas National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment, 39th Brigade Combat Team, the release said.

“The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation,” the release said.

Clay graduated in 2002 from Cotter High School and married his high school sweetheart, Melissa Dewey, last November, a few months before he was deployed to Iraq. Friends say he was scheduled to return home from his tour of duty in less than a month.

“He was a true American hero,” friend Tammi Piatt told the Baxter Bulletin newspaper.

Clay is the 60th Arkansan to have died while serving in the military during the Iraq war, according to an Associated Press count. Four Arkansans have died while serving in Afghanistan.

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