Friday, February 8, 2008

Mark's friend

Miguel Baez and Mark attended basic training together at Ft. Benning, went to airborne school together. There were five of them that went from basic to the 82nd Airborne Division together. Now there are four.

Here's the story from the Fayetteville Observer:

Two Fort Bragg soldiers died this week in Iraq of injuries suffered in a bomb blast.

Cpl. Miguel A. Baez III, 32, of Bonaire, Ga., and Sgt. John C. Osmolski, 23, of Eustis, Fla., died Tuesday in Balad. A third soldier, Sgt. Timothy R. Van Orman, 24, of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y., also was killed.

The explosion hit the three soldiers near Al Muqdadiyah during combat operations, the Defense Department said Thursday. The city is in Diyala province,

Baez and Osmolski were assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team. Baez was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment; Osmolski was assigned to the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion.

Baez, an assistant machine gunner, was on his first deployment.

“Baez was the best kind of soldier,” said 1st Sgt. Kevin Spooner, Baez’s company first sergeant. “He always volunteered and never hesitated to help out a brother.”

Baez joined the Army in May 2005 and arrived at Fort Bragg in October of that year.

“He was a clown, a loving father and a wonderful husband,” Spooner said. “He’ll be greatly missed.”

Baez’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.

He is survived by his wife, Elena Deer-Baez and his children, Selena, Miguel, Aaliyah and Breanna, all of Fort Bragg; and his parents, Miguel A. Baez Jr. and Ramona Baez of Byron, Georgia.

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