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3rd ID loses another hero

POSTED: October 4, 2007 5:04 a.m.
The 3rd Infantry Division suffered another loss during Operation Iraqi Freedom last Friday, according to a statement released by the Department of Defense Monday.
Sgt. John Mele, 25, died on Sept. 14 in Arab Jabour, Iraq, after an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit during combat operations.
The Bunnell, Fla. native was assigned to the division’s 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
A combat engineer, Mele joined the Army in March 2002 and arrived at Fort Stewart in July of the same year.
A family spokesperson told Knoxville, Tenn. NBC-affiliate WBIR the soldier leaves behind a wife, Jennie, and a 6-year-old daughter, Clarissa.
Mele also leaves behind his parents, Michael and Linda, and two brothers, Michael and Nicholas. All are from Union City, Tenn.
Funeral arrangements have not been completed, but the soldier will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery beside his grandfather, who was a World War II veteran.
Based on a Sept. 18 DoD casualty report, the number of U.S. troops who have died in Iraq totals 3,783 men and women.
According to the independent website, 780 soldiers have died this year alone in Iraq.
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