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Army Spc. Marc S. Seiden

Died January 2, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

26, of Brigantine, N.J.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; killed in action when his convoy was ambushed by the enemy who used an improvised explosive device (IED), small arms fire, and a rocket-propelled grenade, on Jan. 2 in Baghdad.

Three weeks from coming home, N.C.-based soldier dies in Iraq

By John Curran

Associated Press

BRIGANTINE, N.J. — After nine months in Iraq, Army Spc. Marc S. Seiden was looking forward to coming home. But he never made it: Three weeks before his unit was to return to the states, he was killed in Iraq.

Seiden, a 26-year-old paratrooper from Brigantine, died Jan. 2 when his convoy was ambushed in Baghdad, killing Seiden and another soldier.

Their unit, 2nd Battalion, the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, N.C., is scheduled to return to Fort Bragg, N.C., later this month after nine months in Iraq.

“It’s a tragedy to his family and the community,” said his longtime girlfriend, Tricia Ferri, 22. “It’s not natural. It’s not what was supposed to happen. He had a lot of expectations for the future. That’s what he was coming home to.”

Seiden grew up in East Windsor, N.J., one of two sons of Jack and Gail Seiden.

He was a 1995 graduate of Hightstown High School, where he played soccer. He attended Ramapo College, where he also played soccer, and worked in construction before enlisting in the Army seven months after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

An outgoing man and avid fisherman, Seiden joined up partly in response to the attacks, according to Ferri, his steady of 2" years.

“He’d wanted to do it for a long time, but it just kept getting pushed off. But then 9/11 happened, and it hit him hard. He wanted to do something about it. That was the way he was. For him to deal with something, he had to just jump into the middle of it,” she said.

After beginning his six-year enlistment, he underwent basic infantry training and parachute school at Fort Benning, Ga., before being assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C.

Sent to Iraq just before the start of the war last March, Seiden was active on patrols in and around Baghdad. The day he was killed, the convoy he was riding in came under attack from a bomb, a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire, according to military officials.

Seiden and Army Specialist Solomon C. Bangayan, 24, of Vermont, died. Three others were wounded.

Army representatives went to the home of Seiden’s parents to make the official notification. His mother called Ferri to give her the bad news about an hour later.

Mrs. Seiden did not want to talk about her son’s death.

“This is really too hard for me,” she said a brief telephone interview.

A memorial service was planned for Jan. 6 in Iraq, according to Master Sgt. Pam Smith, a spokeswoman for the 82nd Airborne Division.

“For us, anytime we lose a soldier, it’s a tragedy. In the 82nd, we’ve got 14,000 paratroopers and they’re all like brothers and sisters,” she said.

Seiden, who had been decorated with a parachutist’s badge, a National Defense Service ribbon and a Combat Infantryman’s Badge, will be awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star posthumously.

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2002   2001

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