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Lance Cpl. Erik R. Heldt View/Sign Guest Book

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Age:   26
Hometown: Hermann, MO
Date of Death: 6/16/2005
Incident Location: Ramadi, Iraq
Branch of Military:   Marines
Rank: Lance Cpl.
Unit: 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division
Unit's Base: Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Erik R. Heldt grew up on a farm, and the aspiring football coach managed to stay down-to-earth in Iraq. "He was carefree but professional at the same time," Lance Cpl. Matthew C. Trigo wrote in a letter to Heldt's wife. "He possessed a unique courage that allowed him to be just the way he wanted to be, self-expressive and nonchalant." Heldt, 26, of Hermann, Mo., died June 16 when a roadside bomb exploded near his Humvee near Ramadi. He was based at Camp Pendleton. Heldt grew up on a farm in eastern Missouri and played football in high school before graduating in 1997. He joined the Marines two years ago and became known as a reliable leader. He is survived by his wife, Crystal, and a daughter, Taylor Purdy. Friends in Hermann hoped to dedicate a new football field to him.
Source: Associated Press
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