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Army Spc. Charles L. Neeley

Died August 25, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

19, of Mattoon, Ill.; assigned to the 454th Transportation Company, Army Reserve, Columbus, Ohio; killed Aug. 25 when his tractor-trailer rolled over as he attempted to cross a pontoon bridge in Tikrit, Iraq.

Charles Neeley signed up for the Army reserves before he even graduated from high school. "He wanted to go on to college," said his father, Charles Larrew. "He had signed up at Lake Land College and then he was called up in December and never had a chance to go. In February, he was shipped to Iraq." Neeley, 19, of Mattoon, Ill., died Aug. 25 in Tikrit, Iraq, when his tractor-trailer rolled over. He was assigned to a unit in Columbus, Ohio. Larrew said his son, known as Chuck, loved board games, paint ball and cars, so much so that he would spend hours at used car lots just looking at them. He joined the junior ROTC in high school and learned to play the saxophone so he could join the band. Friends at his high school signed two huge poster boards with messages to Neeley's family and pinned on yellow ribbons in his memory. "He never knew a stranger," said Larrew. Neeley is also survived by his mother and stepfather, Jane and Robert Tate.

— Associated Press

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