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Tuesday, November 04, 2003

TheSanDiegoChannel.com - News - San Diego Soldier Dies In Iraq Helicopter Crash

San Diego Soldier Dies In Iraq Helicopter Crash
Crash Kills 15 Soldiers, Injures 20

POSTED: 11:15 a.m. PST November 4, 2003

SAN DIEGO -- A San Diego native was among the soldiers killed during Sunday's deadly helicopter attack in Iraq, 10News reported.

Staff Sgt. Paul Velazquez was one of 15 soldiers who died when their Chinook helicopter was shot down by a missile in Fallujah.

In San Diego, Velazquez's father, John D. Velazquez, expressed frustration and grief over the death of his 29-year-old son, who was looking forward to seeing his wife and meeting his 4-month-old daughter for the first time.

"He was anxious to come home and see his baby and family. They were real important to him," Velazquez said.

Velazquez, one of four children, grew up in San Diego's Mira Mesa neighborhood and joined the Army in 1992. He recently re-enlisted for four years and was stationed at Fort Sill, Okla.

The elder Velazquez said his son's death has changed his views about the war.

"Right now they are hunting us down one at a time," he said. "We should get the heck out of there. ... If they want to kill each other, why should we care? They don't want our help. I didn't feel this way before. But now it's different."

The soldiers' remains will be flown home Tuesday.

Twenty other soldiers were wounded in the accident.TheSanDiegoChannel.com - News - San Diego Soldier Dies In Iraq Helicopter Crash

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