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Army Sgt. John J. Savage

Died December 4, 2008 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

26, of Weatherford, Texas; assigned to the 103rd Engineer Company, 94th Engineer Battalion, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; died from wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device Dec. 4 in Mosul, Iraq. Also killed was Staff Sgt. Solomon T. Sam.

North Texas soldier killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

WEATHERFORD, Texas — A Weatherford soldier killed in a roadside bombing in Iraq grew up dreaming of being a soldier, his father said Tuesday.

Army Sgt. John J. Savage, 26, died Thursday in Mosul along with Staff Sgt. Solomon T. Sam, 31, of Majuro, Marshall Islands.

Savage’s father, John Savage, of Peaster, said his son had been due to come home this week to end his second tour of duty. They planned a father-son trip and also to start an automotive business together, John Savage said. His son hoped to transfer to Fort Hood to be closer to his family during the last two years of his military service.

“His family was his number one priority,” Savage said.

Savage’s father said his son joined the military about six years ago, following up on his childhood dream.

“He had camouflage outfits he would dress up in and play Army when he was little,” John Savage said.

The two had last talked in November.

“It’s hard to even think of what to say,” John Savage said. “It’s such a tragic loss.”

Savage was assigned to the 103rd Engineer Company, 94th Engineer Battalion, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

Sgt. had love of military from early age

The Associated Press

John J. Savage’s mother recalls stories from his childhood that showed his distinct interest in the military — replacing his bed with an Army cot and footlocker, painting his room black with netting on the walls and building a Quonset hut in the backyard.

“He loved the military. It was a lifelong dream of his,” said his mother, Jacki Park. “He lived it from that age.”

Savage, 26, of Weatherford, Texas, died Dec. 4 when a suicide bomber in an SUV broadsided his armored vehicle in Mosul. He was assigned to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

He spent three years in Germany before deploying to Iraq on his first tour in 2005 before returning home in March of 2007. He was deployed again in September.

His mother described him as a charismatic young man with a great sense of fun and who was taught to always look for the brighter side of a situation.

“He loved four-wheeler drives, loved automobiles and the outdoors,” said Tim Cox, a lifelong friend.

Savage also is survived by his 3-year-old daughter, Nicole; and his father, John Savage.

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