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Army Sgt. Michael L. Tosto

Died June 17, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of Apex, N.C.; assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Smith Barracks, Germany; died June 17, at Camp Wolf, Kuwait. He died from a non-combat related cause.

Sgt. Michael L. Tosto was a tank driver who didn’t die from combat, but from pneumonia that his mother said developed rapidly and killed him before he could be airlifted from Baghdad to a military hospital in Germany.

Tosto, who grew up in Chatham County, N.C., and was stationed in Germany, died June 17. Family members say his death came less than 48 hours after he started showing symptoms of pneumonia. He had been assigned to duty in Baghdad April 30.

He is survived by his wife, Stephanie, and 19-month-old son, Cameron.

The last time his mother, Janet Tosto of Atlantic, N.C., heard his voice was when he called on her May 5 birthday. “He loved driving tanks,” she said. “He didn’t like being away from his family now, and he just loved that little boy, but he really enjoyed what he did.”

His mother said Tosto’s wife had received two letters from him since he died in which he was “talking about how much he loved her and how much he wanted to spend the next 80 years with her.”

— Associated Press

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