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Schofield Barracks soldier killed in Iraq

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A fifth Hawaii-based Stryker Brigade soldier has been killed in Iraq on the unit’s latest deployment, evidence that while violence is down, the war is far from over.

Sgt. David J. Luff Jr., 29, of Hamilton, Ohio, died yesterday in Tikrit of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire, the Pentagon said.

He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment “Wolfhounds” of the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks.

U.S. Forces-Iraq, the American military command in the country, said in a release that a U.S. soldier died from enemy fire during “advisory operations,” but provided no other details.

About 3,700 Stryker Brigade soldiers are in northern Iraq on a year-long deployment that began in June and July.

Four other Stryker Brigade soldiers have been killed — two by an Iraqi army soldier, one by a roadside bomb and one in a grenade attack on a vehicle.

Another 800 Schofield soldiers have started deploying to Iraq with the 25th Infantry Division headquarters. A deployment ceremony will be held Wednesday and the bulk of the soldiers will leave after Thanksgiving.

The Iraq mission’s name was changed on Sept. 1 from Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn to reflect the end of U.S. combat activity. U.S. troops now provide an advise, assist and training role for Iraqi forces.

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