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Marine Sgt. Yadir G. Reynoso

Died August 5, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

27, of Wapato, Wash.; assigned to Battalion Landing Team 1/4 (1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; killed Aug. 5 by enemy action in Najaf province, Iraq.

A one-time high school wrestler whose body was lean and heavily tattooed, Yadir G. Reynoso was anything but dangerous. He would take money out of his pocket to pay the grocery bills of a stranger at the checkout counter. Reynoso, 27, of Wapato, Wash., died Aug. 5 in a firefight with Iraqi insurgents in Najaf. He was based at Camp Pendleton, Calif. "He was the kind of person who loved challenges," said his sister Patty. "My brother always knew the strength he needed to do anything. He knew he would serve honorably no matter what he did." Reynoso was an eight-year veteran of the Marine Corps, which he joined shortly after graduating from high school in 1997. At school, he was active in sports, especially the wrestling team. "When he came home after he graduated from boot camp, my mother remembers when he looked in a mirror at himself in his uniform and said, 'I used to be a boy; now I can confirm I've become a man,'" Patty Reynoso said. Among his survivors is a 4-year-old son.

— Associated Press

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