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PUBLISHED: 5:19 PM on Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Governor mourns loss of soldiers
Governor Sarah Palin today expressed her sincere sorrow for the recent loss of five soldiers based at Fort Richardson, Alaska.

Private First Class Victor M. Fontanilla, 23, of Stockton, California; Specialist Coty J. Phelps, 20, of Kingman, Arizona; and Sergeant First Class Jesse B. Albrecht, 31, of Hager City, Wisconsin, died on May 17, 2007, in Iskandariyah, Iraq. The soldiers were killed when an improvised explosive device detonated near their military vehicle. Fontanilla, Phelps, and Albrecht were assigned to E Company, 725th Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division.

Corporal Ryan D. Collins, 20, of Vernon, Texas, died on May 19, 2007, in Hamiyah, Iraq. He was assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.

Sergeant Ryan J. Baum, 27, of Aurora, Colorado, died on May 18, 2007. Baum was assigned to B Company, 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.

"We will never forget them or the sacrifice they made for our country, to protect and preserve our way of life," said Governor Palin.

Governor Palin will fly five state flags over the Capitol, in honor of each of the fallen soldiers. The flags will be sent, along with letters of condolence, to their families.


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