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Archive for Friday, February 23, 2007

National Guardsman from Kansas killed

February 23, 2007

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— A Kansas National Guard soldier was killed in Iraq by an improvised explosive device, the state's adjutant general said Thursday.

Staff Sgt. David Russell Berry, 37, was the second Wichita serviceman and the third Kansan to die in Iraq in less than a week.

Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the state's adjutant general, said Berry's death occurred Thursday, although family members told Wichita television station KAKE he was killed Wednesday night when his unit was called to check a mortar explosion.

Berry was a member of Battery B, 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery, Kansas National Guard, based in Pratt. He had enlisted in 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery at Kingman in April 1986 as an ammunition team chief, Bunting said.

Berry was awarded the Soldiers Medal - the highest peacetime honor for soldiers - in February 2005 for pulling a driver from a burning vehicle that had crashed in Kingman County. At the time, Bunting said, Berry was on active duty at Fort Leavenworth and had gone home to south-central Kansas on leave.

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