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Army Sgt. Pamela G. Osbourne

Died October 11, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

38, of Hollywood, Fla.; assigned to Division Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; killed Oct. 11 when two rockets hit her camp in Baghdad. Also killed was Pfc. Anthony W. Monroe.

South Florida soldier killed in Iraq

Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Sgt. Pamela G. Osbourne called home to Texas from her supply depot in Baghdad every morning, between five and six o’clock.

On Sunday, when the phone didn’t ring, Rohan Osbourne called out for his wife.

“Pam! Pam! Pam!”

He was still asleep. Two of his children woke him to ask him what was wrong. Osbourne didn’t remember a thing.

On Monday morning, when an Army team pulled up outside his home at Fort Hood, Texas, Osbourne knew the news would be bad. His wife, 38, had been killed the day before when rockets hit the camp where she was stationed with the 1st Cavalry Division.

A native of Jamaica, the slain soldier came to Florida when she was 14, her husband said. She lived in Miami, then in nearby Hollywood, and she nourished two dreams: One was to become a citizen of the United States, the other was to serve in the military.

“That was her life,” her husband told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “She loved what she did.”

Osbourne joined the Army in 2001, shortly before the terrorist attacks. The family moved from Florida to Fort Hood.

Her husband said a medical condition could have kept her out of Baghdad, but she had obtained her citizenship last year and refused to turn her back on her fellow soldiers or her country.

“I’m not going to punk out like some of these people,” her husband recalled her saying. She was referring to reports of soldiers failing drug tests or coming up with other reasons to avoid being sent overseas. “I’m going to serve my country, to protect my country.”

Her husband understood. “I’ll stand behind you 100 percent,” he said.

While Osbourne was in Baghdad, her husband worked at a car dealership and took care of their two children, Rohan, 14, and LaToya, 9.

Although it was difficult to watch reports of mounting casualties in Iraq, the calls home made things a bit easier on her family, he said. But the deaths and danger were always topics during the calls.

“Hold your head up, baby,” she said in their last conversation on Saturday morning. “I’m coming home. Even if I come home in a box, you should know that I did it for you. Take care of the kids. Stay strong. And remember that I love you.”

Rohan and LaToya woke their father up Sunday morning.

“Why are you calling mom’s name?” they asked him. He said it was probably because he had not been awakened by her usual phone call.

Osbourne still has family in South Florida, including a mother stricken with Alzheimer’s disease.

Her husband said he would stay in Texas, to raise their children and honor her sacrifice.

“This is what she wanted,” he said.

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