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A Queens Village soldier and a New Jersey reservist based at Fort Totten died in Iraq last week, the U.S. Department of Defense said.
Spc. Jorge Feliz Nieve, 26, of Queens Village, was assigned to the Army’s 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment based in Fort Hood, Texas, the Defense Department said. He died Aug. 28 in a “vehicle incident” near Mosul in northern Iraq.
The Defense Department said the accident was under investigation.
Spc. Michael Gonzalez, 20, of Spotswood, N.J., also died Aug. 28 in Baghdad from injuries he suffered from an improvised explosive device, the Defense Department said.
Gonzalez was assigned to the Army’s 340th Military Police Company at Fort Totten in Bayside.
Nieve joined the Army in March 2006 as a petroleum supply specialist, according to the department, where he was assigned to his Fort Hood-based unit.
He was deployed to Iraq in November 2007 and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon, the department said.
Nieve worked at the Village Deli & Grocery near his Queens Village home, the New York Post reported.
His father was murdered in the Dominican Republic six years ago, which motivated him to come to the United States so he could provide for his family, according to published reports.
He first moved in with his aunt, Carmen Gonzalez, who lives in Maryland, according to the reports.
She could not be reached for comment.
His mother and wife both live in the Dominican Republic, where Nieve is to be buried, according to published reports.
Gov. David Paterson ordered flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff on Friday in honor of Nieve and Gonzalez.
“On behalf of the people of New York, I wish to extend our condolences to the family, friends and fellow soldiers of Specialist Gonzalez and Specialist Nieve,” the governor said in a statement. “Their brave service and heroic sacrifice to our nation will never be forgotten.”
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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