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BAUMHOLDER, Germany — A Baumholder-based 1st Armored Division soldier was killed Saturday during combat in Baghdad, the Pentagon said Thursday.

Spc. Manuel J. Holguin, 21, of Woodlake, Calif., died when his foot patrol was hit by a roadside bomb and small-arms fire in Baghdad, according to a Department of Defense news release. Holguin, who went by Joaquin, was assigned to Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment.

A Baumholder memorial is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday at Good Samaritan Chapel on H.D. Smith Barracks, officials said. Holguin’s funeral is tentatively scheduled for July 25 at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Visalia, Calif.

Holguin’s family told The Associated Press that the young man was a selfless soldier, proud of his duty in Iraq.

“He had no qualms about why he was in the military and what his job was,” his father, Manuel, told The Fresno Bee newspaper. “He was very proud of what he did.”

His son waived at least two chances to come home on leave, in one instance allowing a married comrade to go in his place, his father was quoted as saying. The second time, his father said, the soldier declined leave and said he didn’t want his comrades fighting a man short while he was gone.

Holquin is survived by his parents, Manuel and Lydia, and a younger brother, Javier.

He is at least the 17th soldier from the 1st Armored Division killed in Iraq since March 7. The division’s units are split between various spots in Iraq, including Baghdad and Ramadi. Some of the division troops initially deployed to northern Iraq, while others were held in Kuwait as a ready reserve force that was called up earlier this year.


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