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Army Sgt. Raul Moncada

Died April 13, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

29, of Madera, Calif.; assigned to the 563rd Military Police Company, 91st Military Police Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.; died April 13 near Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

Served in Marines before transitioning to Army

The Associated Press

Raul Moncada enrolled in the Marines at age 17 — less than a week after graduating from high school. He was honored at one point as the youngest active-duty Marine in the country, his family has said.

“He was very outgoing. He would do anything he could for anybody,” said his sister, Miriam. “He was a great person all around. Everybody knew him. Everybody loved him.”

Moncada, 29, of Madera, Calif., was killed by a roadside bomb April 13 when his convoy came under attack as it was returning to a base in Baghdad. He was on his second tour.

“He was such a one-of-a-kind person,” said Cecilia Herrera, a longtime neighbor. “He was a polite person, a humble person.”

As the third-oldest in a family of eight children, he served in the Marines for six years before taking a one-year break. He returned to the military in June 2004 — this time in the Army’s military police program.

Moncada was assigned to Fort Drum. He loved playing baseball and was a fan of the Seattle Mariners and Dallas Cowboys.

He is survived by his 6-year-old daughter, Priscila; his girlfriend Tina; his father, Raul; and his mother, Obdulia.

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