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A 1st Armored Division soldier was killed Tuesday in Iraq when a roadside bomb detonated near his mounted patrol, division officials said Wednesday.

Sgt. Mark Richard Vecchione was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment, out of Friedberg, Germany. Vecchione, 25, was from Tucson, Ariz., and is survived by his mother and sister, in Eastham, Mass., officials said Wednesday.

Details of a memorial service have not yet been finalized, officials said.

The 1-37 Armor, known as the Bandits, is one of several 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division units that moved earlier this year from Tal Afar to Ramadi. The units have been among the leading elements in methodical push to expand the U.S.-controlled zones in the contentious city.

In a Friday telephone interview with Stars and Stripes from his Ramadi command post, brigade commander Col. Sean MacFarland lauded the work being done by 1-37 and the other units, which include the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery; the 54th Engineer Battalion; and the 501st Support Battalion.

“We’re all very proud of what our families have been doing back in Germany while we’re deployed,” MacFarland said in the interview.

“They go to as many memorial services as we do, and I know that they’re well-attended, and they hit hard back there. But the families are keeping a stiff upper lip. They’re taking care of each other and themselves. They have been a great asset to the soldiers out here.”

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