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Army Sgt. Marvin R. Sprayberry III

Died May 3, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of Tehachapi, Calif.; assigned to the 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, Vilseck, Germany; one of four soldiers killed May 3 when their military vehicle left the road and flipped over in a canal in Balad, Iraq.

Soldier from Kern County killed in vehicle accident in Iraq

Associated Press

TEHACHAPI, Calif. — A 24-year-old Kern County soldier died in Iraq when his military vehicle flipped over in a canal, his family and the military said.

Sgt. Marvin R. Sprayberry III was killed May 3 along with three others assigned to the Army’s 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, when the road gave way and their vehicle rolled over in Balad, north of Baghdad.

Sprayberry, who attended high school in this city southeast of Bakersfield, was remembered by family and friends as a wiseacre and devoted son. He made a point of calling home every Saturday morning to calm his worried parents.

“He was the greatest human being in the whole world,” said his father Marvin Sprayberry Jr.

After graduating from high school in 1997, he joined the Army and was stationed in Vilseck, Germany. He spent two six-month tours in Kosovo in 1999 and 2000.

Sprayberry was married, and had two sisters and three brothers, one of whom is a Marine sergeant stationed in San Diego.

Family said he loved working on cars, especially an old El Camino he and his father doted over in Tehachapi and a BMW he kept in Germany. When not shooting, fishing or playing video games, Sprayberry was often found roughhousing with his brothers.

“You have no idea what this is doing to my heart,” his father said.

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