Tuesday, February 20, 2007
What gives you the right to fuck with our lives: CCXI:
February 20, 2007
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DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.They died Feb. 19 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when their unit came under attack by enemy forces using multiple weapons.They were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Killed were:

Sgt. Pedro J. Colon, 25, of Cicero, Ill.

Spc. Montrel S. Mcarn, 21, of Raeford, N.C.

For more information on this release the media can contact the Fort Hood public affairs office at (254) 287-9993; after hours call (254) 291-2591.
--Spencer Ackerman
Iraq soldier who went to school in Cicero killed

(Full content posted because sun-times links are only good for 7 days)

Pedro J. Colon spent only one year at Morton East High School in Cicero, but that was enough to make an impression.

Mr. Colon, who transferred to Morton East from New York for his senior year, was a long-distance runner on the track team and had a "contagious smile," said Hector Freytas, 22, a Spanish teacher at Morton East and former teammate of Mr. Colon's.

"He would always say 'hi' to all his teammates when he arrived at practice," Freytas said. "He had friends, girlfriends, the whole shebang."

"What's amazing is that he was only with us for a year, but people seemed to remember him fondly," said Ben Nowakowski, superintendent of J. Sterling Morton School District 201.

Mr. Colon spoke often of his plans to join the military, Freytas said. And after graduation in August 2001, he did.

Last November, the Army sergeant was deployed to Iraq. He was killed Monday in Baghdad when his unit came under attack. He was 25.

At one point, homeless
Another soldier, Spec. Montrel S. Mcarn, 21, of Raeford, N.C., also was killed. The two were in the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, based out of Fort Hood, Texas.

At one point, Mr. Colon was homeless and living in a Chicago shelter, said Marcela Porras, an insurance broker who interviewed Mr. Colon for a free-lance story she wrote for the Lawndale News about at-risk teens who overcame obstacles to finish school.

Mr. Colon told Porras that after his parents kicked him out of their home in New York, he made his way to Chicago.

While living briefly with an acquaintance in Cicero, he registered as a student at Morton East, using his friend's address. But his friend kicked him out, too, so Mr. Colon lived in a shelter on Chicago's North Side and took public transportation to school, Porras said.

Eventually, social workers at Morton East helped Mr. Colon get housing, Porras said.

"The thing that most stuck out was his positive attitude," Porras said. "He decided he wasn't going to be just a statistic."

Mr. Colon, a power generation equipment repairer, had received six awards during his military service, according to the Defense Department.

Funeral arrangements were not known.
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