Three Germany-based soldiers killed in Ramadi attack
July 11, 2006
Three soldiers with the Bamberg, Germany-based 54th Engineer Battalion died Saturday in Ramadi during a mission to clear roadside bombs, family and military officials said Monday.
Two of the 54th Engineer soldiers killed have been identified by their local newspapers in interviews with their families.
The two soldiers were identified as Staff Sgt. Omar Demetrio Flores, 28, of San Antonio, Texas, and Spc. Troy Carlin Linden, 22, of Rochert, Minn.
The 54th Engineer Battalion, which falls under the Hanau-based 130th Engineer Brigade, have been attached to Marine Corps units in Anbar Province since May.
Few details of the attack have been released, only that the soldiers were attached to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
The 1st MEF is the command element for Anbar province, which includes Ramadi. Military spokesmen in Iraq said they had no additional information on Monday about the attack.
Marines, along with 1st Armored Division soldiers, have been pushing deeper into the 400,000-population city, which has been a center for the insurgency since the Iraq war began in March 2003.
Flores, an 11-year-veteran who planned to be a career soldier, was apprehensive about his second Iraq rotation, his wife, Lizbeth Flores, 25, told the San Antonio Express News.
“He just said, ‘Pray for me. I am going to be attached to the Marines,’” Lizbeth Flores was quoted as saying. Omar Flores leaves behind a daughter, Jasmine, 8, and a son, Omar, Jr., 4.
Linden's family described him as a proud Minnesotan even though he’d enlisted in the Army from Montana, where he’d moved after high school.
When Troy Linden returned home on leave a few months ago, he came back to Minnesota a more mature person, his older brother said.
“I noticed a real change in my brother from the time he went to basic training and then overseas,” Ryan Linden told The Associated Press.
“For the first time, I didn’t see him as my little brother, I saw him as a man.”
A memorial for the three soldiers is scheduled for Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Warner Barracks Chapel in Bamberg.