Maryland soldier killed in Iraq

August 25, 2006|By Nicole Fuller | Nicole Fuller,SUN REPORTER

A soldier from Gaithersburg was killed in combat in Iraq on Wednesday, the Department of Defense announced yesterday.

Army Spc. Thomas J. Barbieri, 24, a gunner assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., died when he was hit by small-arms fire from enemy forces during combat operations south of Baghdad, the military said.

The soldier's parents, Thomas and Carolann Barbieri, were grieving yesterday and not able to talk with the media, a family friend said.

Specialist Barbieri, who joined the Army in October 2004, trained at Fort Benning, Ga., and became an infantryman in January 2005. In July 2005, he was deployed to Afghanistan to provide military support during the country's elections.

"He was well-liked and respected by all who knew him," said 1st Lt. Phillip Smith, the former company executive officer, according to a news release from Fort Bragg. "His sense of humor and loyalty will always be remembered by his fellow paratroopers and family."

A memorial service was held for him yesterday in Iraq, the release said.

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