A pair of Germany-based soldiers killed this week in Iraq were identified Wednesday by the Pentagon as members of the 1st Infantry Division and 1st Armored Division.
Sgt. Mario Nelson was killed Sunday in Hit, when a rocket-propelled grenade exploded near his vehicle, officials said. Nelson was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, from Friedberg, Germany.
Nelson, 26, was listed by the Pentagon as being from Brooklyn, N.Y.
Staff Sgt. Joe A. Narvaez was killed Monday in Baghdad after being shot by insurgents. Narvaez was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, out of Schweinfurt, Germany.
Narvaez, 25, was from San Antonio.
Officials in Germany said memorial services for the two soldiers had not yet been set.
Nelson emigrated to the U.S. from Haiti at the age of 8, and “was willing to give his life like he did,” Nelson’s brother, Gary, was quoted as saying to the New York Daily News.
“He was a good man, a good friend and son, a good father and uncle, you name it,” Gary Nelson told the newspaper.
Family members said Nelson was married with a 3-year-old daughter at Friedberg. They were expected to return to New York.
According to Gary Nelson, his brother joined the National Guard after graduating from vocational school and was part of a team digging for remains at the World Trade Center after Sept. 11, 2001. Shortly after, family members told the Daily News, he enlisted full time in the Army.
Little biographical information about Narvaez was available as of press time Wednesday.
Narvaez graduated in 2000 from a San Antonio high school, where he played football for three years. The school’s football coach recalled him as a respected leader.
“He gave us everything he had,” Richard Cerda told The Associated Press. “He was a leader on the field and off the field.”