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Army Spc. Jake R. Velloza

Died May 2, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

22, of Inverness, Calif.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died May 2 in Mosul, Iraq, after being shot by enemy forces. Also killed was Spc. Jeremiah P. McCleery.

Wanted to become special ops soldier

The Associated Press

Jake R. Velloza was a football and baseball standout in high school, where Leon Feliciano served as his football coach.

Feliciano remembers Velloza playing wingback, defensive back, kick returner and kicker on a team that won the 2002 North Coast Section Class B championship in California with an 8-4 record.

“I think he knew from the first day he got into high school that he was going into the military,” Feliciano said. “We talked about college, but he said, ‘No, Coach, I want to be a Ranger doing special ops.’ He was set on his goals.”

Velloza, 22, of Inverness, Calif., was shot and killed May 2 by enemy forces in Mosul, Iraq. He was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas.

Velloza worked briefly reading meters for the North Marin Water District — for which his grandfather worked for 21 years — before he joined the Army in 2006.

He completed his first overseas tour, mostly in Baghdad, and then spent about six months training in Texas. Earlier this year, he re-upped for a second tour after a short break at home in Marin.

He is survived by his mother and father, Bob and Susan, and his fiancée, Danielle Erwin.

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