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Army Spc. Jose L. Ruiz

Died August 15, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

28, of Brentwood, N.Y.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Lewis, Wash.; killed Aug. 15 by small-arms fire from a civilian vehicle while he was conducting security operations in Mosul, Iraq.

N.Y. soldier killed in Iraq left his mark, says wife

Associated Press

Last December, Jose Ruiz called his mother, Juliana, to say a “big, big present” was on its way. A few minutes later, the doorbell rang. Ruiz was at the door, grinning.

“Here’s your present,” he said, wrapping his mother in a hug.

Ruiz, 28, of Brentwood, N.Y., was killed Aug. 15 by small-arms fire in Mosul. He was based at Fort Lewis. Ruiz attended the New York Institute of Technology and had worked as computer network engineer in New York but was inspired to join the military after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

He is survived by his wife, Alexa, and their 9-month-old daughter, Liana, who met her father for the first and only time last Christmas.

“When he first met her, it was glory,” said his stepfather,

Eduardo King. “He never let her go.”

Ruiz was looking forward to coming home in six weeks, and had bought a house in Washington state.

“I was confident every second of the day that he was going to come home to me,” his wife said. “But I thank God for giving me the time he gave me with him and for giving me a baby with him. That’s his mark on the world.”

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