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Army Sgt. Brian M. Wood

Died April 16, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


21, of Torrance, Calif.; assigned to 9th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany; killed April 16 when his military vehicle pulled off the road while on patrol and apparently hit a mine in Tikrit, Iraq.

Sgt. Brian M. Wood was a quiet and sensitive history buff, friends and family said. When his family's cat was sick, he stayed with the animal for hours, comforting it before it died. "He was someone who would always be there," said Kevin McDonald, a friend since childhood. "He was just a genuinely great person. I couldn't have asked for a better friend." The 21-year-old combat engineer from Torrance, Calif., was killed April 16 in Tikrit, Iraq, apparently by a land mine. He was stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany. The soldier "believed in what he was doing," said his father, Greg Wood. "He was so sure of that. He was so sure he was doing good." In a letter to his uncle the week of his death, Wood wrote of his satisfaction with his work. "The large majority of the Iraqi people, they want us here, and they want us to help them rebuild," he wrote. "That always makes me feel good about being here."

— Associated Press

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