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Army Spc. Keenan A. Cooper

Died July 5, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

19, of Wahpeton, N.D.; assigned to the 4th Squadron, 73rd Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died July 5 in Yakuta, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Spc. Jerod H. Osborne.

Soft-spoken soldier had long wanted to join Army

The Associated Press

Spc. Keenan Cooper often didn’t say much and just wanted to do his job, but that didn’t mean he was boring.

His jokes always seemed funnier because people didn’t expect it from the quiet guy, said Karley Vetter, a fellow 2008 graduate of Wahpeton High School in Cooper’s hometown of Wahpeton, N.D.

“He was the most soft-spoken person,” she said, “but you could tell the wheels were always going in his head.”

Cooper was an avid outdoorsman and loved going on archery shoots with his father, driving new Mustangs and playing with Coal, the family dog, said the Rev. Mike Adams, who’d known him for years.

Adams said Cooper had long wanted to be in the military.

“He knew when he was in fourth grade that he would be in the Army someday,” Adams said. “When he made up his mind to do something, he did it.”

Cooper was killed in a roadside bombing in Yakuta, Afghanistan, on July 5, the week before his 20th birthday and a month before he was slated to return home. He was assigned to Fort Bragg.

Survivors include April Travis, the girl he planned to marry in October; his parents, David and Heather; and four younger siblings, Dawson, Twyla, Gabriella and Carly.

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