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Army Spc. Joseph V. White

Died September 24, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

21, of Bellevue, Wash.; assigned to the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.; died Sept. 24 in Omar Zai, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an IED.

Married wife shortly before leaving for Afghanistan

The Associated Press

If any guys messed with Joseph White’s sisters, they knew they would have to answer to him.

“He was very protective of his teenage sisters,” White’s mother, Robyn, wrote in an e-mail to The Seattle Times. “Joseph White is our hero and will be greatly missed by many, many people.”

White, 21, of Bellevue, Wash., was killed Sept. 24 in Omar Zai, Afghanistan, when his vehicle was attacked with an improvised explosive device. Two other soldiers also died in the attack.

White was committed to his two brothers and seven sisters, his mother said. He also loved the outdoors, and his favorite pastimes included playing Frisbee, golf and paintball.

While on leave during the Christmas holiday, White proposed to his wife. The two married in May, a month and a half before his deployment, his family said.

“Joe was not happy to be leaving his bride to go to Afghanistan, but he did not complain. Rather, he went with a strong sense of duty and desire to maintain freedom and safety for others,” his mother wrote.

She said her son was home-schooled and took some classes at Bellevue Community College before joining the Army in 2006.

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