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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 399-04
May 02, 2004

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of eight Soldiers supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died on April 29, in Baghdad, Iraq, while part of a dismounted improvised explosive device sweep patrol, when a vehicle approached their unit, and the driver detonated a bomb. All Soldiers were and assigned to the Armys 4thBattalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder, Germany. Killed were:

Staff Sgt. Esau G. Patterson, Jr., 25, of Ridgeland, S.C.

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey F. Dayton, 27, of Caledonia, Miss.

Sgt. Ryan M. Campbell, 25, of Kirksville, Mo.

Spc. James L. Beckstrand, 27, of Escondido, Calif.

Spc. Justin B. Schmidt, 23, of Bradenton, Fla.

Pfc. Ryan E. Reed, 20, of Colorado Springs, Colo.

Pfc. Norman Darling, 29, of Middleboro, Mass.

Pfc. Jeremy Ricardo Ewing, 22, of Miami, Fla.

The incident is under investigation.

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