Monday, March 19, 2007

He Was Only 20

Lowell soldier killed in Iraq (From Boston.com)

By Michael Naughton, Boston Globe Correspondent

Pfc. John Landry, Jr., 20, had just spent more than two weeks in Florida with his parents, far away from the violence in Iraq and the cold temperatures of his native Lowell.

Landry, who graduated from Lowell Catholic High School in 2005, said goodbye to his mother and father on March 7 and headed back to Iraq. He was killed in combat on Saturday, his mother, Pamela Landry, said today.

Standing in the family kitchen in Lowell, Pamela Landry remembered a line from a letter that her son had written recently as he bragged about hitting a perfect 6-for-6 score on a marksmanship test. "'Don't worry about me, mom,'" Pamela Landry said, quoting from the letter as she broke down in tears. "'I'll be okay.'"

Landry was a rifleman with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

US Representative Martin T. Meehan released a statement Sunday and called Landry a "courageous, brave young man."

"John was a patriot, who answered his country's call to duty and made the ultimate sacrifice. He is a true American hero and we all owe John and his family a debt of gratitude for their sacrifice," Meehan said.

Students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Lowell Catholic High School spent part of last week assembling a care package for Landry that they had planned to send this week.

"A lot of it was sports magazines, different snacks he requested, some Lowell Catholic t-shirts, and the football team signed a football jersey for him - things meant to entertain him," said Donna Deveau, the director of advancement at the school. "This is very shocking to us."

How many more? Why?

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