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Rocket grenade kills 3rd ID soldier

POSTED: October 2, 2007 5:04 a.m.
A rocket grenade was responsible for the death of a Fort Benning 3rd Infantry Division soldier in Iraq last week, according to information provided by the Department of Defense Tuesday.
Cpl. Javier Paredes, 24, was killed on Sept. 5 in Baghdad after suffering wounds from a rocket-propelled grenade attack.
The San Antonio native was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team at Fort Benning and worked as a medic.
The soldier, whose mother died in 1999, spent most of his childhood in foster care, but lived with his aunt, Maria Acevedo, just before joining the Army in 2004.
“Javier was a good kid,” Acevedo told the San Antonio Express-News, adding her nephew was proud of his service. “His mother would have been proud of him.”
Paredes’ younger brother, Gonzalo, added he was going to miss his big brother.
Administrators at the Hill Country Youth Ranch, a residential treatment and foster care center where the soldier lived during high school, have also been saddened by the news of his death.
“We knew him to be a person of great character and courage, who cared deeply about others, including his siblings and friends at the ranch,” HCYR Director Gary Priour said in a statement. “He was proud that he had picked up the pieces and graduated from high school. By the time he left, he had become an integral part of our family here.”
Based on a Sept. 14 DoD casualty report, Paredes is one of the now 3,773 U.S. soldiers who has given their lives while serving the country during Operation Iraqi Freedom. An independent Web site tracking U.S. deaths and injuries, casualties.org, reports the number of U.S. troop deaths at 3,780.
Nearly 28,000 additional soldiers have been wounded, according to both the DoD and icasualties.org
 

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