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BAUMHOLDER, Germany — Spc. Carlo E. Alfonso, an Iron Brigade soldier assigned to the 40th Engineer Battalion, was killed Aug. 26 by a roadside bomb while on patrol in Baghdad’s Sadr City, the Department of Defense announced Monday.

A memorial service for Alfonso, 23, will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Chapel One in Baumholder, Germany.

Alfonso, who called Spokane, Wash., home, was working toward becoming a U.S. citizen at the time of his death. According to his hometown newspaper, Alfonso grew up in the Philippines but moved to Washington in 1997 with his mother.

He attended West Valley High School in Spokane, which was where he met his future wife, Rose Marie Alfonso.

Rose Marie told the Spokesman-Review of Spokane that Alfonso was killed eight months to the day of their wedding.

"He was friends with everybody," she told the paper. "Nobody hated him. He was a really sweet person."

Alfonso was a combat engineer who worked to clear roads and buildings of roadside bombs and booby traps. He was scheduled to return home for midtour leave in three months.

Rose Marie Alfonso said though she knew her husband’s job was dangerous, it’s impossible to prepare for the worst.

"It’s always a stress," she said. "It is. They go on these missions, and you know what they’re doing. You know the risk. So it’s scary. But I never thought something like that would happen."

In addition to his wife, Alfonso is survived by their 2-year-old son, Kyle, and his mother.

Alfonso served with the 40th Engineer Battalion’s Company A, which is attached to the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment. Task Force 1-6 is responsible for operations in Sadr City.

When Baumholder soldiers arrived in Sadr City in April, the Shiite slum was a hotbed of violence and conflict. In subsequent months, security conditions have vastly improved, though dangers persist, according to numerous commanders.

Alfonso is the fourth soldier with the Iron Brigade to be killed since it deployed to Iraq in April for a 15-month tour.

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John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.
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