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Mideast edition, Friday, July 27, 2007

A Hohenfels, Germany, soldier was killed this week when his unit was attacked in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense announced Wednesday.

Pfc. Zachary R. Endsley, 21, died Monday in Arghendab District, Afghanistan. Endsley, who had been in Afghanistan since January, was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment.

The unit, which acts as the opposing force during exercises at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center for other units headed downrange, has been sending each of its companies on six-month rotations to Afghanistan over the past two years.

The deployments help the 1-4 soldiers see what life is like on the ground for troops and allows them to make the training more realistic back home.

Company B is nearing the end of its Afghanistan mission and will be replaced in the coming weeks by 1-4’s Company A.

According to the DOD statement, Endsley’s unit was attacked with indirect fire. The statement did not give further details about the attack.

Family and friends gathered Wednesday at Endsley’s home in Spring, Texas, to remember the fallen soldier, according to a television report from Fox 26 News in Houston. Yellow ribbons wrapped the trees surrounding the home, the report stated.

“We were actually elated that he got to Afghanistan and not Iraq,” Endsley’s stepfather, David Carrol, told Fox. “We felt like it would be better. However, the last few weeks it heated up again, and he was in the line of fire.”

Endsley’s MySpace page filled up with messages from his friends around the country after news broke of his death.

He was a 2004 graduate of Oakridge High School where his family says he was a member of ROTC, the report said.

Maj. Eric Bloom, Joint Multinational Training Command spokesman, said a memorial service for Endsley will be held at Hohenfels on Wednesday.

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Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.
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