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Army Staff Sgt. Alex French IV

Died September 30, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

31, of Milledgeville, Ga.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, Lawrenceville, Ga.; died Sept. 30 in Khowst, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.

Enlisted in Navy before joining National Guard

The Associated Press

Alex French had a thing for the spinach-gobbling Popeye as a child and followed his own dream of being a sailor, joining the Navy.

French was honorably discharged in 2000 and continued his career in public service, becoming a sheriff’s deputy. But he wanted to keep serving his country and later joined the National Guard.

“It was in him to do that,” said his sister Latoya French. “When you’d see him, you’d think he belonged in uniform.”

French, 31, of Milledgeville, Ga., died Sept. 30 in Khost, Afghanistan, when enemy forces bombed his unit. He was assigned to Lawrenceville, Ga.

Another sister, Laquitta French Basley, said she often talked to her brother online while he was deployed. He always asked to make sure things were OK back in Georgia, rarely talking about himself.

French was always close to his family, Basley said, and always protective of his sisters.

“He was a rock,” she said.

Bibb County Sheriff Jerry Modena said French was an intelligent sergeant in the booking division who worked hard to rise through the ranks.

“He had a good career ahead of him,” Modena said. “To have it terminated so early, it’s a waste.”

Street named for fallen guardsman

The Associated Press

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — A Georgia community has renamed one of its streets for a hometown hero — a National Guard soldier who was killed two years ago in Afghanistan.

Family and friends of Staff Sgt. Alex French gathered Jan. 6 for a ceremony to dedicate Alex French Drive, the street where the citizen-soldier grew up in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Milledgeville.

French, 31, was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. He had deployed overseas with the 48th Infantry Brigade of the Georgia National Guard.

David Neal, who served with French in Afghanistan, told The (Macon) Telegraph he was glad to see the community do something to memorialize his friend.

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