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Army Spc. Artimus D. Brassfield

Died October 24, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

22, of Flint, Mich.; assigned to B Company, 1st Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; killed Oct. 24 in an enemy mortar attack in Samaria, Iraq.

Spc. Artimus Brassfield struggled to make it through school, but always kept his focus on two main ambitions: to play basketball and join the military. "He made it through high school," said Brassfield's father, Cary, of Flint, Mich. "He got himself together." Brassfield, 22, who was based at Fort Hood, died Oct. 24 in a mortar attack as he played basketball at his Iraq military base. "He was just a sitting duck," Cary Brassfield said, but added that his son "died doing what he loved. He loved basketball, and he loved the Army." Born in Mississippi, Brassfield grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and moved to Flint to live with his father when he was 14. He joined the Army in March 2001 after his high school graduation, and married his wife, Andrea, the following August. He is also survived by a brother.

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