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Army Specialist Jaime Rodriguez Jr., 1987-2007

When the Kalitta Charters airplane carrying the body of U.S. Army Specialist Jaime Rodriguez Jr. landed at Santa Barbara Airport just before 2 p.m. on Thursday, August 2, the jet also brought home what the South Coast had avoided for more than four years-a young soldier killed in Iraq. The 19-year-old Rodriguez died July 26 when an Improvised Explosive Device detonated near his vehicle in Saqlawiyah, a city just northwest of Fallujah in Anbar province. Sgt. William R. Howdeshell, 37, of Norfolk, Virginia, and Spc. Charles E. Bilbrey Jr., 21, of Oswego, New York, from his unit also died from the blast.


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