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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 1319-05
December 22, 2005

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.  They died in Taji, Iraq on Dec. 20, when an improvised explosive device detonated near their HMMWV during combat operations.  Both soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.

       Killed were:

       1st Lt. Michael J. Cleary, 24, of Dallas, Pa.

       Spc. Richard Junior D. Naputi, 24, of Talofofo, Guam.

For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.

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