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Army Staff Sgt. Stevon A. Booker

Died April 5, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

34, of Apollo, Pa.; assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, Fort Stewart, Ga.; killed in action during a raid into Baghdad, Iraq.

Army Staff Sgt. Stevon Booker was a veteran of the 1991 Gulf War and thought he had learned some valuable lessons.

In December, Booker said in an interview with the Associated Press near the Kuwait-Iraq border: “I teach my guys what I learned from the first Gulf War. One guy doesn’t win a war. You have to have confidence in your equipment. The M1A1 is the best tank on the battlefield. It can destroy anything the Iraqis throw at us.”

Booker was killed by enemy fire April 5 during a raid into Baghdad.

Booker, 34, of Apollo, Pa., joined the Army after graduating from Apollo-Ridge High School in 1988. He was born in Detroit, then moved with his family to the mining town of Redtown, Pa., and then to Apollo. His mother, Freddie Jackson of Apollo, said her son, who was 5-10 and 180 pounds, kept himself fit and looked dashing in his uniform.

“If it wasn’t for the war, he’d have been home by now,” she said. “But it’s what he wanted to do. He always told me, ‘Mom, don’t worry about me. We are the best-equipped military in the world, and I’m going to be fine.’ ”

— USA Today and The Associated Press

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