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Three soldiers from Schweinfurt, Germany’s 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment killed in Baghdad by a roadside bomb were identified Tuesday by the Pentagon.

Capt. Anthony Palermo Jr., Spc. Ryan Dallam and Pvt. Damian Lopez Rodriguez were on a combat operation Friday when the bomb detonated near their vehicle, according to the Defense Department.

The men had deployed to Iraq in September with Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the unit from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, said 1st AD spokeswoman Master Sgt. Nancy Morrison.

Palermo, 26, came from a big military family and was “born to be a soldier,” cousin Vianka Feliciano told the Boston Herald. Palermo was also two weeks from becoming a father, she said. Capt. Kristy Pine, his wife, is stationed in Würzburg, Germany, and is soon due to deliver their first child, the newspaper said.

“Anthony was a genuinely beautiful soul,” his cousin, Meredith Griffin, told the Globe. “He was everybody’s favorite. Even though he always had a strict and militant attitude, he was fair and unselfish, putting everyone’s needs first before his own,” she said.

Spc. Ryan Dallam, 24, also was from a military family and planned to return to his home state of Oklahoma next week on leave, his father told The Associated Press. Dallam was born in Norman, and attended high school on an American Indian reservation in Arizona, he said. Dallam joined the Army in the spring of 2005 — two years after his father, Scott, retired from a 23-year Army career, he said.

“We talked about it several times,” Scott Dallam told the AP. “I told him my concerns, that [Iraq] was probably where he was going to end up. He made a commitment that he wanted to serve and it didn’t really matter. When you’re young, it doesn’t seem to matter. You always think you’re invincible.”

Rodriguez, 19, was from Tucson, Ariz. No other biographical information was available at press time on Tuesday.

A memorial ceremony for Palermo, Dallam and Rodriguez is tentatively scheduled for the April 19 at the Ledward Barracks Chapel in Schweinfurt, Morrison said in an e-mail.


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