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Army Staff Sgt. Jorge L. Pena-Romero

Died July 16, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

29, of Fallbrook, Calif.; assigned to the 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Irwin, Calif.; killed July 16 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee as his unit was conducting a mounted patrol in Baghdad.

California soldier killed in Iraq

Associated Press

FALLBROOK, Calif. — Staff Sgt. Jorge Luis Pena-Romero was known for staying cool and lifting the spirits of people around him.

Pena-Romero, 29, of Fallbrook, died Saturday after an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Iraq, said Maj. John Clearwater, a public affairs officer at Fort Irwin, where Pena-Romero was stationed as part of its 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

“You couldn’t ask for a better non-commissioned officer,” said Sgt. Jason Morris, a friend of Pena-Romero at the base. “As an individual, this guy was incredible — easy to talk to, always had some kind of smile on his face, always knew how to lighten people’s moods.”

Pena-Romero was a machine gunner who had been in the Army since 1995.

“He was well-liked, and he was a mentor to many of the guys in the troop,” said Lindsey Keys, whose husband is the commander of Pena-Romero’s unit.

Pena-Romero is survived by his wife, Melissa, and three children.


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