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Army Staff Sgt. James R. Patton

Died April 18, 2010 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

23, of Fort Benning, Ga.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.; died April 18 in Tikrit, Iraq, of injuries sustained as the result of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash.

Always was able to remain composed

The Associated Press

Jimmy Patton was known for his qualities as a soldier — for being “the life of his platoon.”

“He made the best of every situation regardless of circumstance, and he always exuded an easy confidence that it could be done,” said Col. Dan Walrath, Patton’s commander.

That was echoed by soldiers who remembered Patton in messages posted online.

Maj. Ken Rutka of Fort Leavenworth, Kan., said Patton was a “phenomenal Ranger.” He said Patton had a lasting impression on him while the two worked together on a 2008 deployment.

“He was hard, but fair and his Rangers were the most squared away in the battalion,” Rutka wrote in an online memorial.

Patton, 23, was killed in a helicopter crash April 18 in Tikrit, Iraq. He was assigned to Fort Benning, N.C. He was on his seventh deployment, having previously served twice in Iraq and four times in Afghanistan.

He enlisted in the Army in 2004.

Patton is survived by his wife, Beatriz; a daughter, Cecilia; and his parents.

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