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Staff Sgt. Dennis P. Merck View/Sign Guest Book

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Age:   38
Hometown: Evans, GA
Date of Death: 10/20/2005
Incident Location: Baghdad
 
Branch of Military:   Army
Rank: Staff Sgt.
Unit: 878th Engineer Battalion
Unit's Base: Augusta, Ga.

When Dennis P. Merck moved into a new home with his family this summer, there was something that just couldn't wait. "The first thing he said was, 'I want a huge flagpole for the front yard,'" said his wife, Tanya Merck. So she bought him a 20-foot pole and he put it up right away. Merck, 38, of Evans, Ga., died Oct. 20 in Baghdad of a gunshot wound. A 1986 high school graduate, he was assigned to Augusta. He spent 12 years in the Army _ based in Korea, Haiti and Germany _ before joining the National Guard earlier this year. He met Tanya when she was 14 and he had just turned 17. Her father said she couldn't date until her 15th birthday so Dennis went to meet her parents, and they were persuaded. "My dad said you could tell he had a good upbringing," she said. He also is survived by his children Nicholas, 17; Jacob, 10; and Mackenzi, 15. His wife got an e-mail from him only hours before he died. He sent her the lyrics to a song, "It Takes Two" by country singer Chris Cagle, and then told her to expect two letters. "Maybe it was God making sure that I would have another opportunity to have something physical from him to touch," she said.
Source: Associated Press
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