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Army Sgt. Justin A. Officer

Died September 29, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

26, of Wichita, Kan.; assigned to 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died Sept. 29 at Combat Outpost JFM of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province.

Soldier had extended enlistment to remain with unit

The Associated Press

As a youngster, Sgt. Justin Officer wasn’t very fond of school, but he had a natural talent for art and drawing.

His father, Timothy Officer, said the soldier requested art supplies during his deployments, though he wasn’t sure if his son got around to finishing any drawings or paintings. It wasn’t his only hobby.

Justin Officer “liked typical boy adventures, like camping, fishing and playing video games,” his father, who was in the Air Force, told The Wichita Eagle.

The 26-year-old from Wichita, Kan., died Sept. 29 in Kandahar province. He joined the Army in 2004, had served two tours of duty in Iraq and was assigned to Fort Campbell, Ky.

His father told the newspaper that Officer planned to leave the Army and pursue school but changed his mind and extended his enlistment long enough to take the deployment.

“I asked him why many times, until he left,” his father said. “His only reply was he could help the new kids that were assigned to his unit and might save their lives.”

Survivors include his mother, Stacy; brother, Timothy; and sister, Kylea.

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