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The 2nd Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team suffered its first combat death in Iraq earlier this week, the Department of Defense confirmed Thursday.

According to a Pentagon news release, Staff Sgt. Gary A. Vaillant, of the 2nd Battalion, 72nd Armor Regiment, was killed Sunday when his tank ran over an anti-tank mine. The incident occurred near Khaldiya, the release said.

Vaillant, 41, was a native of Trujillo, Puerto Rico. A family memorial is planned in his hometown, officials said; there was no word Thursday on whether a memorial service would be held by the 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea.

Some 3,600 members of the South Korea-based 2nd Brigade are on a one-year deployment to Iraq.

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