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Army Spc. Clifford A. Spohn III

Died April 9, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

21, of Albuquerque, N.M.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska; died April 9 in Karmah, Iraq, of wounds sustained when the enemy attacked his location with indirect fire.

New Mexico soldier killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE — A New Mexico family is mourning the death of a 21-year-old soldier killed while serving in Iraq.

Army Spc. Clifford Adam Spohn III died April 9 of wounds suffered when his unit was hit with indirect fire while working at an Iraqi police station in Karmah, the Army said.

Spohn was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Fort Richardson, Alaska.

A 2004 graduate of Cibola High School, Spohn joined the Army that October and was assigned to Fort Richardson in May 2005. He leaves behind a wife and a 4-year-old daughter.

The Spohn family declined to talk with reporters April 10, but friend Meghan White said Spohn was “a light” who everyone loved.

“I’m upset because I feel like I didn’t get enough time with him. He was just such a good friend and he just brought so much light into my life,” said White, who participated in show choir with Spohn when they were in school.

She said she and Spohn kept in touch and that he was excited about going to Iraq and serving his country.

“I just know that’s what he wanted to do,” she said.

Meanwhile, a Las Cruces woman and her husband have been grieving over the death of her son, an Army soldier killed in Iraq.

Staff Sgt. Jesse Williams, 25, of Santa Rosa, Calif., died April 8 in Balad of wounds from small-arms fire, the Defense Department said.

Williams was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, at Fort Lewis, Wash.

He was on his second tour of duty in Iraq. He was awarded a Purple Heart during his first tour when he was hit by shrapnel in his arm while fighting insurgents.

His mother, Janyce Leone, and stepfather, Ron Leone, have lived in Las Cruces since 2003.

“I’ve raised Jesse since he was 4,” Ron Leone said. “He’s my only child. He’s everything you could ever hope for in a son.”

Besides his parents, Williams also is survived by his wife, an 11-month-old daughter, a brother and a sister.

“In July, when he was getting ready to go away on his second tour of duty, he put ink on his daughter’s hands and pressed them to his chest,” Leone said.

“Jesse wanted a tattoo of his daughter’s hand prints. He wanted them, and put them, close to his heart because that’s where he always wanted his daughter — close to his heart,” Leone said.

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