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Honoring those who fought and died in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn
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Army Spc. Christopher J. Rivera Wesley

Died December 8, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


26, of Portland, Ore.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, based in Fort Lewis, Wash.; killed Dec. 8 when his Stryker armored vehicle flipped into a canal in Duluiyah, Iraq.

Spc. Christopher J. Rivera Wesley joined the Army so he could see the world. When his grandmother died in Guam, he was a continent away, fighting in Iraq. The two were close, and Wesley had lived with a grandmother for a time when she became ill.

“We thought he’d be able to come here and pay his respects to his grandmother,” his uncle Joseph Wesley said from Guam. “He tried to come home, but it didn’t work out. Now this happens and we’re all taking it very hard.”

Wesley, 26, of Portland, Ore., died Dec. 8 when his Stryker combat vehicle tumbled off a dirt road in central Iraq and landed upside down in an irrigation canal. He was based at Fort Lewis, Wash. Wesley had graduated from high school in 1995, and joined the Army, but left to live with his grandmother in Guam before re-enlisting.

— Associated Press

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