European edition, Tuesday, June 26, 2007

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — A military police soldier with Stuttgart’s 554th Military Police Company died Thursday in Baghdad when her vehicle was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade, according to a Department of Defense news release.

Army Spc. Karen N. Clifton, 22, of Lehigh Acres, Fla., died from wounds suffered in the blast. A memorial service has been scheduled for Friday, at 11 a.m., at Patch Barracks in Stuttgart, according to the 21st Theater Support Command public affairs office.

Relatives said she was born in Decatur, Ill., the oldest of three girls, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. They said she was a NASCAR enthusiast who collected Jeff Gordon memorabilia, the newspaper reported.

Three other soldiers were wounded in the attack, which occurred in northern Baghdad, according to Lee Illinois Regional Newspapers news service.

Born in Decatur and raised in Mount Zion, Clifton moved to Fort Myers, Fla., during her junior year of high school, the news service reported. She moved in with her half-sister, completing high school in 2003, the news service reported. After graduation, Clifton returned to Illinois, where she signed on for a five-year hitch with the Army, according to Lee news service.

The 554th MP Company falls under the 95th MP Battalion, 18th MP Brigade, 21st Theater Support Command.

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