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Army Spc. Carlos M. Gonzalez

Died March 16, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

22, of Middletown, N.Y.; assigned to the 101st Military Intelligence Detachment, 501st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; killed Mar. 16 when a mortar round detonated in Tikrit, Iraq. Also killed was Sgt. Amanda N. Pinson.

Two soldiers with 101st Airborne killed in Iraq

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — The Army on Monday identified two soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division who were killed last week when a mortar exploded near them in Iraq.

Sgt. Amanda N. Pinson, 21, of St. Louis and Spc. Carlos M. Gonzalez, 22, of Middletown, N.Y. died March 16 in Tikrit, Iraq, the Army said.

Their deaths were announced last week but the soldiers’ identities were withheld until Monday so families could be notified.

Pinson, a signals intelligence analyst, entered the Army in July 2003 and arrived at Fort Campbell in March 2004. Survivors include her mother, Christina Ehlen, and father, Tony Pinson, both of St. Louis.

Gonzalez, a signal support systems specialist, entered the Army in May 2004 and arrived at Fort Campbell in January 2005. Survivors include his wife, Kristina, and 1-year-old daughter, Isabella, both of Clarksville, Tenn.; and his parents, Carlos and Anna Gonzalez of Middletown.

Pinson enlisted out of high school when she was 18, telling a newspaper columnist at the time that she thought the experience would help her grow — and that she was aware of the dangers involved.

“But I didn’t really think about it,” Pinson told St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Harry Levins in 2003. “I thought, ‘This is what I want to do — and I’m going to do it, no matter what.’ I tell everybody, ‘It just feels right.”’

Pinson’s mother told the Post-Dispatch that her daughter continued to believe she had made the right choice.

“She loved being in the Army and she loved doing her job,” Ehlen said. “She felt like her work saved American lives. That’s what she did.”

The two soldiers were among six from the 101st killed in four days last week. The Army has identified all but one.

The most soldiers from the division killed in a single day were 17 in November 2003.

Pinson and Gonzalez were assigned to the 101st Military Intelligence Detachment, 501st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Airborne Division based at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Including Pinson and Gonzalez, 135 soldiers from Fort Campbell have been killed in the war in Iraq.

— Associated Press

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