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Army Spc. Genaro Acosta

Died November 11, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

26, of Fair Oaks, Calif.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 4th Infantry Division (Mech), Fort Hood, Texas; killed while on patrol Nov. 11 when his Bradley Fighting Vehicle hit and detonated two improvised explosive devices in Taji, Iraq.

The twin explosions that killed Spc. Genaro Acosta on Veterans Day destroyed even his wedding ring, but they left his gold cross intact.

“Everywhere he went, he would not take that cross off,” his brother Fernando Acosta said. “He was a very strong believer in God.”

Acosta, 26, of Fair Oaks, Calif., was killed Nov. 11 when his vehicle hit two explosives in Taji, Iraq. He was stationed at Fort Hood.

The avid Los Angeles Lakers fan with a fondness for the cartoon character Scooby Doo “felt very strongly about helping other people out,” Fernando Acosta said. He re-enlisted this year despite his concern over the dangers because “he figured it was the right thing to do,” his brother said.

“I know that he did not die in vain,” said his widow, Roxanne Longoria Acosta. “He was proud of what he did.”

— Associated Press

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