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Army Spc. David A. Schaefer Jr.

Died May 16, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

27, of Belleville, Ill.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade, Schweinfurt, Germany; died May 16 in Baghdad of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit.

‘He was born to serve his country’

The Associated Press

David A. Schaefer Jr.’s aunt and uncle, Karen and Danny Schaefer, said their nephew visited them before he enlisted, and his excitement about joining the military was tangible.

“Like all young men, he got himself all ripped up and excited about going into the Army,” Karen Schaefer said. “I answered the door and didn’t recognize him. He said, ‘Aunt Karen, it’s Little Davey!’ and I gave him a big ol’ hug. He did good for himself.”

Schaefer, 27, of Belleville, Ill., died May 16 in Baghdad when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit. He was assigned to Schweinfurt, Germany.

“He was born to serve his country,” said his wife, Shelly. “He wanted to be a soldier — that’s all he talked about when he was younger — and that’s what he did.”

After getting his GED, he worked as a diesel mechanic.

“There was never a challenge David wouldn’t take on, and he always took the heavy end of the load. He was a soldier’s soldier, and he will be missed,” Maj. Gen. William Enyart said.

He also is survived by three children, Jason Phillips, 13, Logan Schaefer, 7, and Savanna Schaefer, 6.

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