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Soldier falls to his death, investigation under way
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A fall from a rooftop during training is reportedly to blame for the death of a 3rd Infantry Division soldier in Iraq, according to family members.
The Department of Defense has not released details surrounding the death of 26-year-old Sgt. Mason L. Lewis, but his mother, in an interview with the Washington Post, said her son was training Iraqi soldiers in a remote location when he died Nov. 16.
“He was up on a roof; I don’t know how high,” Lisa Lewis said. “All I know was that he fell.”
A statement provided by the DoD on Nov. 18 said Lewis died in Baghdad and his death is currently being investigated.
Lewis, a 26-year-old native of Gloucester, Va., wanted to be a soldier from a young age, his mother said. He and his best friend would play with toy guns, plastic knives and compasses, run around the woods in the rural county, wrestle snakes in ponds and play war, prompting family members to nickname him “Little Rambo.”
He joined the Army in November 2002 after completing a local Job Corps program and spending time in the National Guard. He was as a small arms/artillery repairer assigned to the 3rd ID’s 26th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
At the time of his death, Lewis was nearing the midway point of his second tour in Iraq. He had been working as a gunner on convoy security, until two weeks ago when himself and nine other soldiers were moved for the training mission, Lisa Lewis said.
In e-mails to his mother just days before his death, the soldier wrote that he was blessed with the family he had because many of his fellow soldiers told stories of not having seen their mothers in years and knowing their fathers at all.
Lisa Lewis said she was sad that her son would not be able to add to their wonderful family.
“I’m just sorry I’ll never have one from him,” she said, pointing out the grandchildren in her home during the interview.
Lewis will be buried at the Rosewell Memorial Gardens in Gloucester and receive a Bronze Star Medal for his service.
As of a Nov. 23 DoD casualty report, there have been a total of 715 U.S. non-hostile troop deaths in Iraq since Operation Iraqi Freedom began in March 2003.
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