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Army Spc. Donald R. McCune

Died August 5, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

20, of Ypsilanti, Mich.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment, 81st Brigade Combat Team, Washington Army National Guard, Moses Lake, Wash.; died Aug. 5 in Landstuhl, Germany, of injuries sustained Aug. 4 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his patrol in Balad, Iraq.

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Michigan soldier killed in Iraq

Associated Press

YPSILANTI, Mich. — A 20-year-old soldier from Michigan who was serving in Iraq died from wounds he suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his patrol, officials said.

Spc. Donald R. McCune of Ypsilanti died Thursday in Landstuhl, Germany, from injuries he sustained the day before in Balad, Iraq, according to the Department of Defense.

McCune was assigned to the Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment, 81st Brigade Combat Team, and stationed in Moses Lake, Wash. Before that, he served nearly two years with an Army Reserve unit out of Fraser.

McCune is the 29th member of the military with known connections to Michigan to die in Iraq.

McCune grew up in Chelsea. He attended high school in Fort Wayne, Ind., while living with his father and at Huron High School when he lived in Ann Arbor with his mother, Darcy Lewis, and stepfather, Army Sgt. Benjamin Lewis. He had enlisted in the Army by the time he earned his high school equivalency degree in 2002.

Benjamin Lewis served with the Michigan Army National Guard’s 156th Signal Battalion before returning home three months ago. McCune had left for Iraq the previous week, and was to have been there until May 2005.

Benjamin Lewis said he and McCune bonded over their military service, and that he’ll miss his stepson’s attitude. “He liked to push buttons,” a smiling Lewis told The Ann Arbor News on Saturday.

“I’m proud of my son,” McCune’s mother said. “I believe we’re there for a reason and I hope someday his death means something, that something’s been accomplished. He’s not just a statistic.”

“Regardless of what people feel about the war, people need to remember there are Americans over there and they’re there for a reason,” Darcy Lewis said. “They still need to be supported, regardless of people’s feelings.”

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