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Army Spc. Marcelino R. Corniel

Died December 31, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

23, of La Puente, Calif.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment, California Army National Guard, Fullerton, Calif.; killed Dec. 31 when an enemy mortar attack occurred in the vicinity of his observation post in Baghdad.

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Iraq casualty posthumously awarded Purple Heart

SANTA ANA, Calif. — An Army National Guard member killed in Iraq was posthumously promoted to sergeant and will be awarded a Purple Heart, officials said Friday.

Marcelino R. Corniel, 23, of La Puente, was killed New Year’s Eve during a mortar attack in Baghdad. He had just five days left to serve in Iraq. He was assigned to the Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment, based in Fullerton in Orange County.

Corniel had served in Iraq as a Marine and joined the National Guard in June. He volunteered to go to Iraq, said Maj. Jon Siepmann of the California National Guard.

The Purple Heart is awarded to soldiers who are wounded by the enemy and can be presented posthumously to those killed in action.

Corniel also will posthumously be awarded the Bronze Star, national Defense Ribbon and Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

— Associated Press

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