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Army Staff Sgt. Shane R. Becker

Died April 3, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

35, of Helena, Mont.; assigned to the 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska; died April 3 in Baghdad when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small-arms fire.

Military names Alaska-based paratrooper killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

GREELEY, Colo. — Army officials have released the name of the Fort Richardson soldier who was killed by small arms fire in Iraq this week.

Shane Becker, 35, died April 3 in Baghdad. Another paratrooper was seriously injured in the same incident and was being treated at the 28th Combat Support Hospital in Iraq.

Becker was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson.

Becker, whose hometown was listed by the military as Helena, Mont., grew up in Greeley, Colo., where his stepfather is a firefighter, the Greeley Tribune newspaper reported.

He is survived by his wife, Crystal, and two daughters. He was a 1990 graduate of Greeley West High School, according to the Greeley Tribune.

“”Everybody says, ‘well, Shane is dead,’ and I say, well, he’s only dead if we allow him to die, he’s left a legacy that’s pretty special,” Becker’s stepfather, Bob Jorgensen told Denver station KUSA-TV. ““To have been fortunate enough to meet my wife and be part of his life, man that’s priceless.”

Helena Valley man remembers son as a good father, soldier

The Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. — Staff Sgt. Shane Becker, who was killed in Iraq this week and grew up in Greeley, Colo., was a patriot, a proud father, and a good soldier, his father said April 6.

Becker believed he was making Iraq a better place and making the U.S. safer for his children, said Joe Becker, who lives in the Helena Valley in Montana.

“Shane was the kind of kid every father dreams of having,” he said. “He grew up to be a fine young man.”

Shane Becker, a soldier with the Army’s 25th Infantry Division, was killed near Baghdad on April 3. He had just returned to Iraq after a brief visit with his family in Alaska, where he witnessed the birth of his daughter Cheyenna, Joe Becker said.

Shane graduated high school in Colorado and joined the service out of Helena in the early 1990s. He was on his second combat tour in Iraq. His commendations included the Silver Star and the Purple Heart.

Joe Becker said his family has a long military history, but Shane was the first to be killed in the line of duty.

“We come from a family that firmly believes in protecting the U.S. and what it stands for,” he said. “Shane believed in what he was doing. He loved his country, and he felt he was doing the job he was meant to do.”

Shane, his wife, Crystal, and their 7-year-old daughter, Sierra, stopped in Helena on their way from Texas to Shane’s new duty station at Fort Richardson, Alaska, in October 2005.

During his visit, Shane got to spend time with siblings, Christopher and Nicole, who live in Missoula, and Adam, who lives in Helena.

“They sat at this table looking at old pictures and laughing their heads off while smoking cigars,” said Shane’s stepmother, Jean. “He said they were doing a lot of good over there.”

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