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Army Spc. Nicholas P. Brown

Died January 22, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of Huber Heights, Ohio; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Bliss, Texas; died Jan. 22 in Mosul, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

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Soldiers with Texas ties killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

RAYMONDVILLE, Texas — A 27-year-old soldier from South Texas and an Ohio soldier from Fort Bliss have been killed in Iraq, the Department of Defense said Jan. 25.

Staff Sgt. Hector Leija, who grew up in Raymondville, died Jan. 24 from wounds he sustained during combat operations in Baghdad, the military said.

Leija was assigned to 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, at Fort Lewis, Wash.

Spc. Nicholas P. Brown, 24, of Huber Heights, Ohio, was killed Jan. 22 when an improvised explosive device exploded near his vehicle in Mosul, the military said.

Brown was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Calvary Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. He is the seventh soldier from the 4th Brigade Combat Team to be killed since the team deployed to Iraq in late October.

Leija was a 1997 graduate of Raymondville High School, where he was a member of National Honor Society, Future Farmers of America and the Bible Club. He joined the Army about eight years ago, his family said. The military listed his home as Houston.

“It doesn’t hit you hard till it’s at home, and basically when you turn on the television and see one of your own kids is gone,” Raymondville teacher Richard Garcia told Harlingen, Texas, television station KRGV. “It’s just real hard for you to accept.”

Flags at the school were at half staff Jan. 25 as students and staff mourned Leija’s death.

“It’s sad, and the staff is feeling it,” Principal Gilbert Galvan told Harlingen television station KGBT.


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