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The Department of Defense has identified a member of the Rhode Island National Guard killed last week in Iraq while attached to a 1st Armored Division unit.

Sgt. Michael R. Weidemann was with the Giessen, Germany-based 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment of the 1st AD’s 1st Brigade when an explosion detonated near his vehicle, the DOD announced Thursday.

The 23-year-old from Newport, R.I., was driving an armored tactical vehicle during a patrol Tuesday in the Hit area of Anbar province west of Baghdad, according to a news report from a Providence, R.I., television station.

Rhode Island state flags flew at half-staff Friday in Weidemann’s honor, WJAR-TV reported.

“This is a moment to reflect on the courage and dedication of one brave American who has given his all for this country,” U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said, according to the report. “Our hearts go out to Sgt. Weidemann’s family and friends as they bear this terrible loss.”

Weidemann was an honors student at Rogers High School and enlisted a month after his 2001 graduation. He is survived by his father, an older sister, three brothers, an uncle and a grandmother, the report said.


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