Wednesday, April 14

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LaHood statement on casualties in the
724th Transportation Company      
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[APRIL 14, 2004]  PEORIA -- U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria, made the following statement Tuesday regarding casualties sustained in the Bartonville-based 724th Transportation Company. The Department of Defense announced Tuesday that Pfc. Gregory R. Goodrich of Bartonville was killed in action April 9 in Iraq when his convoy came under attack by individuals using rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. The 724th, an Army Reserve unit, is currently serving in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"My prayers and thoughts are with the Goodrich family and all soldiers of the 724th and their families," said LaHood, "and I have committed all the resources of my office to assist these soldiers and families. Any injury or loss of life to our military personnel is painful and heart-wrenching, and losses to a local unit bring the reality of combat in Iraq home to all of us in central Illinois. We are all thankful to those who volunteer to defend our freedoms around the world, and I pray for the safe return of all our soldiers.

"The recent surge of violence in Iraq is being fomented by terrorists who do not want the people of Iraq to live in a democracy," LaHood added. "It is a hard struggle to combat those who wish to terrorize the Iraqi people and the forces of the United States, but it is a struggle to which we are firmly committed, and in the end the efforts of freedom-loving Iraqis and coalition forces will triumph."

[News release from Rep. Ray LaHood,
18th Congressional District]

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