CAMP CASEY, South Korea — Four more 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division soldiers have been killed in Iraq, the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday, bringing the total deaths to 48 since the brigade deployed from South Korea in August.

The soldiers, all members of the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, were killed March 4 when a bomb detonated amid their patrol in Ramadi, officials said. Wednesday, the Pentagon identified the soldiers as Capt. Sean Grimes, Sgt. 1st Class Donald W. Eacho, Cpl. Stephen M. McGowan and Spc. Wade Michael Twyman.

Cpl. Stephen M. McGowan

Family and friends remembered McGowan, 26, a medic, as one of the stalwarts of a successful 2nd ID rugby team during his year in South Korea, playing halfback, fly-half and wing, former 2nd ID rugby captain Sgt. 1st Class Dave Clark told Stripes from his new duty station in Germany.

“Steve played for the whole year he was in Korea. He loved the sport both on the pitch and off. The former Casey (2nd ID) players will all be drinking a Guinness in his honor,” Clark said.

Pvt. Brandon Uehlein, a friend who served with McGowan in South Korea and in Iraq with the 36th Area Support Medical Company, said he felt sorrow and outrage at the loss.

“The world is a darker and less cheerful place,” Uehlein said.

McGowan’s sister, Michaela McGowan, said her brother attended St. Mark’s High School in Wilmington, Del., the University of Delaware and Wilmington College, receiving an associate’s degree before entering the Army.

“He loved the outdoors and anything that involved being physical. He would go on hikes with his dog or go biking and when it was nice out we loved to take days at the beach,” she wrote in an e-mail.

“We always used to say that if we were going to die, we wanted to die with honor and no doubt my brother did die with honor. He has always been my hero and it seems sadly perfect he would die being one,” she said.

During free time in Iraq, McGowan helped train female medics to deal with female Iraqi detainees, she said.

“My mother and I have had our hearts break because we will no longer have my brother come in the front door and give us hugs and flash his amazing smile while telling about the job he loved to do — serve his country, his flag, and the American people,” Michaela McGowan wrote.

Capt. Sean Grimes

Grimes, 31, also was a medic.

“Our family is very saddened and our hearts are filled with grief,” his family in Southfield, Mich., said in an Army statement. “Sean loved the Army and the military and was devoted to his mission of providing the best possible medical care to soldiers. He died fighting for what he believed in and our entire family is extremely proud of his service. Sean will always be a hero to us.”

Grimes graduated from Michigan State University in 1997 with a degree in nursing, according to the Detroit Free Press. His family has a long history of military service, the Detroit News reported, noting his father served in the Navy and his grandfather was an Army Ranger.

Sgt. 1st Class Donald W. Eacho

Eacho, 38, was from Black Creek, Wis. Before coming to South Korea he lived in Watertown, N.Y., with his wife and two sons, the Kenosha (Wis.) News said. He was supposed to be reassigned to Fort Drum, N.Y., when he returned from Iraq, family members said.

“He liked what he was doing. He thought of his guys before he thought of himself,” the newspaper quoted Eacho’s sister, Kathy Whiteside, as saying. “When they were in Iraq, he would not give himself e-mail until his guys had e-mail. They were his family, too.”

Family members said he earned the Soldier’s Medal in 2003 after rescuing a young girl and her grandfather, who were trapped in an overturned car.

Spc. Wade Michael Twyman

Twyman, 27, joined the Army two years ago because he “was a patriot,” family members told media in his hometown of Vista, Calif., near San Diego.

“He was doing what he wanted to do. Our country was at war and he wanted to fight,” his father, John Twyman, told a local television station.

The flag at the San Marcos Fire Department, where John Twyman served 30 years as a firefighter and later chief of the department, will fly at half-staff.

“I remember Wade when he was little, we all do,” said Larry Webb, the current fire chief. “He always had a smile on his face. When he was back here, he came by to visit us and he was just looking great and happy to be doing what he was doing. Everybody was proud of Wade.”

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Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.

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