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Army Spc. Anthony N. Kalladeen

Died August 8, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

26, of Purchase, N.Y.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, 256th Brigade Combat Team, New York Army National Guard, New York City; died Aug. 8 in Baghdad of injuries sustained Aug. 7, when his Humvee was struck by two improvised explosive devices and he received small-arms fire. Also killed was Pfc. Hernando Rios.

Kalladeen reunited family at 17

The Associated Press

Anthony N. Kalladeen and his older brother, Chad Pillai, were put up for foster care when they were just 9 and 10 after their mother suffered a nervous breakdown.

But Kalladeen, at age 17, came looking for her and his brother to reunite the family.

“He showed us what true love was,” said his cousin Ana Rodriguez, 46. “He showed no animosity toward his mother.”

Kalladeen, 26, of Purchase, N.Y., died Aug. 8 when his vehicle was ambushed. He was assigned to New York City and was on his second tour.

Kalladeen, a former Marine with four years of service, was attending Purchase College before he was sent to Iraq.

“He was like a big teddy bear,” said Krystina Orellano, 19, a junior. “When he gave us a hug, he took all the air out of you.”

Pillai, himself a captain in the Army, flew in from Germany for the funeral.

“There’s been a lot of heartache over the years, but finding each other again was the best part of my life,” said Pillai.

He then tucked his own dog tags into Kalladeen’s hands just before the coffin was closed.

“He’ll always have my tags,” Pillai said. “He always can find me.”

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