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Army Sgt. Marshall A. Westbrook

Died October 1, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

43, of Farmington, N.M.; assigned to the 126th Military Police Company, New Mexico Army National Guard, Albuquerque, N.M.; killed Oct. 1 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee in Baghdad.

Family grieves for fallen soldier

FARMINGTON, N.M. — Relatives and friends of Sgt. Marshal A. Westbrook, the first New Mexico National Guardsman killed during combat in Iraq, gathered at his Farmington home to remember him and celebrate his life.

“He was a good man. He loved his family. He loved fighting for his country,” Dave Westbrook, the fallen soldier’s brother, told The Daily Times newspaper Oct. 7.

Westbrook, 43, was a member of the Albuquerque-based 126th Military Police Company. He died on the morning of Oct. 1 in Baghdad after being struck in the head by shrapnel from an explosive device.

Ken Nava, a New Mexico National Guard casualty assistant, said Westbrook worked for Public Service Company of New Mexico and was a longtime resident of Farmington.

Brig. Gen. Kenny Montoya, head of the New Mexico National Guard, spent the day Monday with Westbrook’s family.

“He loved his family. He loved his soldiers. This gentle giant, Sgt. Allen Westbrook, will rest in peace,” Montoya said.

Westbrook, born July 25, 1962 at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., was married and the father of five children.

Relatives declined to say much to reporters.

“Right now, we are hurting too much,” Dave Westbrook said. “But he loved doing what he was doing.”

The 126th Military Police Company was activated a year ago and was expected to return to New Mexico next March.

Gov. Bill Richardson has ordered flags at state office buildings flown at half staff to honor Westbrook, the 17th service member from New Mexico killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

“I am deeply saddened by his death and I ask all New Mexicans to join me in honoring his passing,” the governor said.


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