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Army Spc. Jose L. Mora

Died October 24, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

26, of Bell Gardens, Calif.; assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.; killed Oct. 24 in an enemy mortar attack in Samaria, Iraq.

Spc. Jose Mora knew he'd have to go back to high school, lose weight and get in shape if he wanted to join the Army. Soon after his brother was killed in an auto accident, he made good on his promises. "He knew he had to make something of himself, please his parents and provide for his wife and family," said Lt. Col. John Powledge of the Fort Carson soldier from Bell Gardens, Calif. The 26-year-old father of three was killed Oct. 23 in a mortar attack in Samarra, 70 miles north of Baghdad. Mora, who worked his way up from a rifleman to a Bradley fighting vehicle driver to a Bradley gunner, had what it took to be an Army leader, said his first sergeant, Glenn Robinson. "Toward the end of every month he always had two questions for me," Robinson said. "He'd ask me how I was doing, then with a smile on his face, he'd ask me when he was getting promoted." Mora's younger sister, Yesenia, remembered her brother as extremely protective: "He and my other brother would interrogate my dates," she said. Survivors include his wife, Biana, and three children: Malory, 6, Damion, 4, and 9-month-old Briana.

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