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Army Spc. Mark W. Melcher

Died April 15, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

34, of Pittsburgh; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 103rd Armor, Pennsylvania National Guard, Friedens, Pa.; killed April 15 when his M1A1 Abrams tank came under enemy small-arms fire during combat operations in Taqaddum, Iraq.

Pa. soldier killed in Iraq

PITTSBURGH — A western Pennsylvania soldier was killed in combat when his tank was hit by small arms fire, the Department of Defense said Monday.

Army Spc. Mark W. Melcher, 34, of Bethel Park, a Pittsburgh suburb, was killed on Saturday in Taqaddum, Iraq, when his M1A1 Abrams tank was involved in combat, military authorities said.

Melcher was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 103rd Armor Division, Pennsylvania National Guard, out of Friedens, Somerset County. Messages left with Army Public Affairs and Melcher’s unit were not immediately returned.

A listed phone number for Melcher could not be found Monday. A woman who identified herself as Melcher’s sister-in-law said his family did not wish to comment.

Before he entered active duty, Melcher worked as a supervisor for Mellon Financial Corp. at the banking company’s processing center in Pittsburgh, the company said.

“Mellon Financial Corp. learned with great sadness of the death of Mark in the service of his nation and extends its deepest sympathy to Mark’s family and friends, which includes many Mellon employees,” the company said in a statement.

“Mark was well-liked and respected by his co-workers. He was recognized a number of times over the years for his service to our customers and our community along with his loyalty and dedication to Mellon.”

— Associated Press

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