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Army Spc. Cory J. Bertrand

Died October 14, 2008 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

18, of Center, Texas, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died Oct. 14 of wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device in Qazi Bandeh, Afghanistan. Also killed were Spc. Stephen R. Fortunato and Sgt. Preston R. Medley.

Army Spc. Cory J. Bertrand remembered

The Associated Press

Cory J. Bertrand’s teenage years were spent playing in the front yard of a white frame house owned by his step grandparents.

His grandfather, Johnny Allen recalls the quality time they spent together. “We shot guns together, and we walked the place here together. I do some mechanic work, and he enjoyed being with me while I was doing that.”

Bertrand, 18, of Center, Texas, died Oct. 14 in Qazi Bandeh, Afghanistan, when his vehicle struck an IED. He was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas.

“He felt like he was doing his job to protect not only his family, but his country, and he saw a purpose for his life,” said his grandmother, Lillian Allen.

The country boy decided to join the Army at age 17. His young age required his mother, Charlotte Allen, to sign the enlistment papers. She agreed so her son could have the future he wanted.

“His face seemed to have that look of being, ‘I’m serious about what I’m doing,’ and I really know he had come to realize that his purpose in life was fulfilled in being in the military,” said pastor Charles Boster.

Bertrand also is survived by his stepfather, Matt Allen, and father, Ernie Nelams.

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