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Raleigh Paratrooper Killed in Iraq

Posted March 14, 2008

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— An 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper from Raleigh has died from injuries sustained in Iraq, authorities said Friday.

Staff Sgt. Laurent J. West's vehicle patrol hit an improvised explosive device near Kishkishkia, Iraq, authorities said. West, 31, was a Cavalry Scout with the 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team.

West joined the Army in July 1993. He had two deployments to Bosnia, from May to August 1998 and from March to September 2000.

“Staff Sgt. West was a man who was abundantly humble in his demeanor. A quality that is not noted in many men, certainly his was an unquestionably fine trait," Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Davis said in a statement. "He could be counted on to get the job done – and done right. He was always willing to pass his knowledge on to his soldiers and was a genuine man that cared about his soldiers."

West is survived by: his wife, Michelle; his stepdaughters, Nistasha and Madison, all of Fort Bragg; his father, Larry West, of Green Spring, W.Va.; and his mother, Ilona Bauer.

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  • Big Tom Mar 14, 2008

    Another hero taken too soon. Rest in peace, sir.