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Army Spc. Carla J. Stewart

Died January 28, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

37, of Sun Valley, Calif.; assigned to the 250th Transportation Company, El Monte, Calif.; died Jan. 28 of wounds sustained when her convoy vehicle rolled over.

Glendale soldier dies after joining Army at age 35

The Associated Press

GLENDALE, Calif. — Eighteen years after then-teenager Carla J. Stewart felt the call to serve her country, she enlisted in the Army Reserves and reveled in the honor of wearing military fatigues.

“She would say, ‘Mom, this uniform feels so right,’” Emmy Aprahamian said Tuesday, holding a photograph of her daughter.

The 37-year-old Army specialist, assigned to the 250th Transportation Company in El Monte, was killed in Tallil, Iraq, on Sunday when her convoy vehicle rolled over.

Stewart first considered joining the military when she was 17 but didn’t enlist until she was 35.

“She cared a lot for this country,” her mother said tearfully. “She was too good for this world.

“I thought, ‘She is too good for a miserable place like Iraq,’” she continued. “But I wanted to support her. For her to sign up, being a female, I admired her immensely. Not everyone has the guts to do it.”

Born in La Canada Flintridge and raised there and in Glendale, Stewart learned mechanical drafting and worked alongside her father, Edmond Babayan.

As she neared the cutoff age for the Army Reserves, she decided to enlist.

After completing basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., Stewart was deployed to Iraq. She was due to come home in March to her mother and brother, Richard Babayan.

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