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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 981-03
December 27, 2003

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

     The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.  The soldiers were killed on Dec. 25 in Baquba, Iraq, when their living area came under mortar attack.   Killed were:

     Staff Sgt. Thomas W. Christensen, 42, of Atlantic Mine, Mich.

     Staff Sgt. Stephen C. Hattamer, 43, of Gwinn, Mich.

     The soldiers were assigned to the 652nd Engineer Battalion, U.S. Army Reserve, based in Ellsworth, Wis.

     This incident is under investigation.