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Army Spc. Donald S. Oaks Jr.

Died April 3, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

20, of Erie, Pa.; assigned to the C Battery, 3rd Battalion, 13th Field Artillery Regiment (Multiple Launch Rocket System), Fort Sill, Okla.; killed in action in Iraq.

Donald Samuel Oaks Jr., 20, of Erie, Pa. called his father from Kuwait in January and said he would never take life at home for granted again.

“All I want to do is come home, take a shower, be with my family and go fishing,” his father, Donald Sr., recalled him saying the last time they talked.

Oaks, who died April 3, joined the Army after graduating from Harbor Creek High in 2000. His goal was to use military benefits to get a college education.

Oaks is remembered as a quiet young man with a good sense of humor. He liked to hunt and fish, collected baseball and football cards, and enjoyed science fiction.

“He loved life. He loved God. He took his Bible wherever he went,” said his grandfather, Samuel Oaks. “He wanted to make a better life for himself.”

— USA Today and The Associated Press

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2002   2001

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