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Pvt. Jody W. Missildine was killed in action on April 8 in Tal Afar.
Pvt. Jody W. Missildine was killed in action on April 8 in Tal Afar. (U.S. Army)

Family members of a 1st Armored Division soldier killed last week in Iraq are mourning the loss of a quiet, compassionate young man.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon identified the soldier as Pvt. Jody W. Missildine, 19, of Plant City, Fla. Missildine was killed April 8 in Tal Afar when a makeshift bomb hit his armored Humvee, which was traveling in a convoy with other vehicles.

Missildine was part of the Friedberg, Germany-based 2nd Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. Officials at the division headquarters in Wiesbaden said a memorial service is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the Ray Barracks Chapel. The “local chain of command” has closed the ceremony to media, 1st AD officials said.

According to news reports from his hometown, Missildine had been raised by his grandparents since the age of two. He had a brother, Jason, with whom he was close — the two had each others’ names tattooed on their arms.

“He was a good person. He’d do anything for you,” Jason Missildine told the Tampa Bay 10 news channel.

Shirley Missildine, Jody’s grandmother, said he felt different when he wore his uniform.

“He told me the other day, when he put that uniform on, people looked at him like he was a man,” she said, according to Tampa Bay 10. “The last thing he told me was ‘I love you Nana,’ and we just tried to reassure him that he was going to be alright.”

Funeral arrangements had not yet been made, the family said.

“Life’s just going to be so empty without him,” Shirley Missildine was quoted as saying in the St. Petersburg Times.

Missildine had signed up for the Army while still in high school, family members said, in part to travel and to get money for college. He was on the track and wrestling teams in high school and was good at computers.

According to family members, Missildine called home each week, but that his news in recent weeks had begun to worry them. A friend of his had been killed in action, and another seriously wounded.

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