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Army Staff Sgt. Edmond L. Lo

Died June 13, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

23, of Salem, N.H.; assigned to the 797th Ordnance Company, 79th Ordnance Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas; died June 13 in Samarra City, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device that his explosive ordnance disposal team was acting to neutralize detonated.

Staff sergeant was determined to serve country

The Associated Press

SALEM, N.H. — Bright and hardworking like his immigrant parents, Edmond Lo’s future grew even more promising when he was offered a full scholarship to a prominent engineering school. But he turned it down, choosing instead to disarm bombs for the Army.

It was a job intended to save lives, but one that cost Lo his. The 23-year-old staff sergeant was six months into his second tour of duty in Iraq when a roadside bomb he was working on exploded June 13 in Samarra City, his family said.

“I told him to be careful, and he said, ‘I know, I know,’ ” his mother, Rosa Lo, told the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Lo graduated from Salem High School in 2004, where he was a member of the Air Force Junior ROTC program. He was commander of the drill team, color guard and operations squadron, said Thomas Puzzo, a retired Air Force chief master sergeant who helps lead the group.

“We called him Mr. Dependable,” Puzzo told the newspaper. “Every time we needed something, he was there.

Lo was in the second half of his senior year when he started talking about enlisting, Puzzo said. He already had begun getting college acceptance letters.

Lo’s mother said she wanted her son to go to college. The Rochester Institute of Technology accepted him, offered a full three-year scholarship and kept calling, even after he had left for boot camp, she said.

“He had a very strong will,” she said. “He wanted to serve the Army.”

Gene Clark, director of veterans enrollment services at the Rochester Institute of Technology, said the offer almost certainly came from ROTC, perhaps supplemented by the school. He expressed condolences to the family.

“Those of us who are involved in working with veterans often say it’s that 1 percent who are paying the price for the other 99 percent of us to be free,” Clark said.

Lo was the youngest of six children born to parents who emigrated from Hong Kong, became U.S. citizens and started a family. The family runs a computer repair service in Salem.

Lo was assigned to the 797th Ordnance Company, 79th Ordnance Battalion based in Fort Hood, Texas.

After his first tour in Iraq, Lo visited Salem High, sharing photos and stories of Iraq. He didn’t give a lot of details, but said he found the Iraqis gracious, Puzzo recalled.

Lo laid to rest

The Associated Press

SALEM, N.H. — Family, classmates and comrades in arms came together in Salem to remember Army Staff Sgt. Edmond Lo, a young man who turned down a college scholarship to serve his nation.

Lo, a 23-year-old Salem High graduate, was killed June 13 when a roadside bomb he was trying to disarm exploded in Iraq. He was buried Saturday after a funeral service at Mary Queen of Peace Church in Salem.

Retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Puzzo recalled Lo as a quiet and competent leader during his high school’s Junior ROTC program. According to the New Hampshire Sunday News, Lo was the third serviceman from Salem killed in Iraq since 2006.

Family donates sign to fallen hero’s high school

The Associated Press

SALEM, N.H. — The family of a New Hampshire solider who was killed in Iraq while trying to disarm a roadside bomb has donated a 6-foot-high message board in front of his high school.

The $20,000 board was installed in late December 2011 at Salem High School in memory of Army Staff Sgt. Edmond Lo, who was killed in June 2009.

Lo graduated from Salem High School in 2004, one of four graduates of the school to die while serving in Iraq. Rosa Lo said her son enjoyed his time at Salem High and especially loved the school’s Junior ROTC program.

A computer can display several different messages within seconds of each other on the board, according to The (Lawrence, Mass.) Eagle-Tribune. One message says “In memory of Staff Sgt. Edmond Lo.”

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