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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 826-03
November 06, 2003

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Sgt. 1st Class Jose A. Rivera, 34, of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, was killed on Nov. 5 in Mumuhdyah, Iraq.  Rivera was part of a patrol when his unit came under rocket propelled grenade and small arms fire.  Rivera died of his injuries.  He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, based in Fort Bragg, N.C.

Spc. Robert T. Benson, 20, of Spokane, Wash., died on Nov. 4, in Baghdad, Iraq.  Benson died from a non-hostile gunshot wound.  Benson was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division, based in Smith Barracks, Germany.

These incidents are under investigation.