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Army Spc. Daniel A. Desens

Died June 24, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

20, of Jacksonville, N.C.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 120th Infantry, Army National Guard, Jacksonville, N.C.; killed June 24 when his Bradley Fighting Vehicle came under attack from small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades in Baqubah, Iraq.

N.C. soldier confirmed killed in Iraq

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. — A soldier from North Carolina was killed Thursday when his vehicle came under attack in Baqubah, Iraq, the Defense Department confirmed on Saturday.

Spc. Daniel A. Desens Jr., 20, of Jacksonville, was assigned to the Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 120th Infantry Regiment. Another member of the unit, Capt. Christopher S. Cash, 36, of Winterville, also was killed in the attack.

Their Guard unit was activated Oct. 1, according to a press release from the North Carolina National Guard.

“We are greatly saddened by the loss of Capt. Cash and Spc. Desens. They were outstanding soldiers serving their country and paid the ultimate price for the freedom of our country,” said Col. William T. Boyd, chief of staff of the N.C. National Guard.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with their families in this time of grief,” Boyd said in a release.

Daniel Desens Sr., 45, Desens’ father, said his son competed in football, track and wrestling while attending Camp Lejeune High School.

“He was a stellar performer as far as that was concerned,” Desens said.

He graduated from Lejeune in 2001 and attended Chowan College in Murfreesboro for one year before his unit was activated, his father said.

Desens Sr., who spent 25 years in the Marines Corps, said his son was a Minnesota Vikings fan who loved to play sports.

“He felt it was every young man’s obligation to serve his country,” Desens said.

The Department of Defense said in a release that Cash and Desens Jr. were traveling in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle on Thursday when they were attacked by enemy forces using small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.

More than 100 people, including 3 U.S. soldiers, were killed Thursday as U.S. and Iraqi forces battled insurgents.

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