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Army Spc. Matthew J. Sandri

Died March 20, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of Shamokin, Pa.; assigned to the 82nd Forward Support Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, based at Fort Bragg, N.C.; killed March 20 when his living area came under a rocket attack in Fallujah, Iraq.

Kareen Murray calls Matthew J. Sandri the strongest of her friends, a sincere, honest and genuine person willing to go out of his way to help a friend in need. "There's just something special about Matt. When you look into his eyes for the first time, he just has a way with people," Murray said. "It's like he's so inviting. He had a love for people, he loved life. I could just look at him and start laughing because I knew he was thinking of something funny." Spc. Sandri, 24, of Shamokin, Pa., died March 20 in a rocket attack outside Fallujah, Iraq. He was stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., and had completed three years of study at Bloomsburg (Pa.) University with a concentration in biology. Murray recalled the time she met him: "He just started talking to me as if he already knew me," she said. "From then on, we were like best friends. I had so many years of fun with him; there's nothing but good memories of Matt." Survivors include his parents.

— Associated Press

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