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Army Sgt. Robert T. Ayres III

Died September 29, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

23, of Los Angeles; assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany; died Sept. 29 in Baghdad of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using small-arms fire.

Malibu High grad killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Robert T. “Bobby” Ayres III vowed to fight for his country after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, inspired by his grandfathers’ service in World War II. He joined the Army just months after graduating from Malibu High School, attained the rank of sergeant and was sent to Iraq.

Ayres, 23, died Sept. 29 in Baghdad after being wounded in a small-arms attack on his unit, the military reported. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, in Vilseck, Germany.

Ayres was buried at Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood, where he had worked as a volunteer gardener.

His family described Ayres as an avid outdoorsman who liked to sleep on the beach.

He was driven and patriotic, his family said, and hoped to make a difference in the lives of ordinary Iraqis. Stationed in Mosul during the first of two tours in Iraq, Ayres reported that the streets were growing so safe that he could go out and play with the neighborhood children. His father began sending him cartons of stuffed toys and dolls for the kids, who nicknamed him “Soldier Bobby.”

Ayres his survived by his parents, Robert Jr. and Michelle; a twin brother, Jackson; two sisters, Dorothy and Mimi; and a brother, Aaron.

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