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Army Spc. Joseph D. Suell

Died June 16, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of Lufkin, Texas; assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters and Service Battery, 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Sill, Okla.; killed June 16 in Todjie, Iraq. He died from a non-combat related cause.

Lufkin soldier killed in Iraq

Associated Press

LUFKIN, Texas — Fort Hood officials have notified family members that a 24-year-old Lufkin man was killed in Iraq.

Fort Hood spokesman Cecil Green said personnel from the Central Texas post went to Lufkin to notify relatives of Spc. Joseph Suell’s death. Suell was assigned to 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery at Fort Sill, Okla., Green said.

The Defense Department said Suell’s death was from a non-combat related cause. According to a news release on the CENTCOM Web site, the soldier died in the Taji area of Iraq.

He was evacuated to an Army medical facility for treatment, where he later died.

Suell had written a letter to his mother, Rena Mathis, that she received the day he died, The Lufkin Daily News reported June 18.

Suell’s aunt, Deborah McKay, said Suell told his mother he was ready to come home. McKay said Suell wrote that he and his comrades did not have electricity, or water to bathe, and that he was afraid for his life because of snipers.

“He had things on there like, People think the war is over, and it’s not,’’ she said.

Suell is survived by his wife, Rebecca, and their two daughters.

He graduated from Lufkin High School in 1997, and had been a member of the Panther basketball team. McKay said she believed Suell was in his third year in the Army.

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