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February 7, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
82nd Airborne Division Paratrooper dies in Iraq
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — An 82nd Airborne Division Paratrooper died of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated while conducting combat operations in the vicinity of Al Muqdadiyah, Iraq Tuesday.
Cpl. Miguel A. Baez III, 32, of Bonaire, Georgia was an Assistant Machine Gunner with 1st Bn., 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment (AIR), 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 82nd Abn. Div.
"Baez was the best kind of Soldier,” said 1st Sgt. Kevin Spooner, Baez’s company 1st Sgt. “He always volunteered and never hesitated to help out a brother."
Baez joined the Army in May 2005. He completed Infantry One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Georgia in August 2005 and the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia in October 2005.
Baez arrived to the 82nd Abn. Div. in October 2005 and was assigned to the 1st Bn, 325th AIR, 2nd BCT, 82nd Abn. Div.
"He was a clown, a loving father and a wonderful husband, he'll be greatly missed," added Spooner.
Baez’s awards and decorations include: the Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, and the Parachutist’s Badge.
Baez is survived by his wife, Elena Deer-Baez; his children, Selena, Miguel, Aaliyah, and Breanna, all of Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and his parents, Miguel A. Baez, Jr. and Ramona Baez, of Byron, Georgia.
Also killed was:
Sgt. John Osmolski, 23, of Eustis, Florida