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Army Sgt. Robert A. Surber

Died June 3, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of Inverness, Fla.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Wash.; died June 3 in Thania, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Also killed were Staff Sgt. Greg P. Gagarin, Sgt. James C. Akin and Sgt. Tyler J. Kritz.

Family, friends remember soldier killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

While accompanying the body of his best friend, Jeremy Lentz tried composing his thoughts for a eulogy for Army Sgt. Robert A. Surber. He gave up after six pages.

“All of my best memories of growing up had him involved somehow,” Lentz said.

Surber, 24, of Inverness, Fla., was killed June 3 by an explosive in Thania, Iraq. He was a 2000 high school graduate, assigned to Fort Lewis, Wash., and was on his second tour.

Growing up the middle child and only boy, Surber loved Boy Scouts, playing Little League, following the University of Florida Gators and the Miami Dolphins.

His mother, Kerri Surber, said her son didn’t like violence and didn’t like arguing, but he would debate. “He could pick apart an argument and negate it in a minute flat,” she said.

Surber was home on leave in April. “He just wanted to be normal,” Kerri Surber said. “He’d change his clothes four or five times a day. He just wanted to wear something different.”

With everyone sitting quietly and remembering him, she said, “He would have thought all this is too much drama.” Added his sister, Jennifer Surber, “He would have told everybody to knock it off already.”

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