82nd Airborne Paratrooper dies in Iraq


Staff Sgt. Laurent J. West, 31, of /*Raleigh*/, was a Cavalry Scout with the 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team.

West joined the Army in July 1993. He first enlisted into the Chemical Corps of the /*Army*/, then reclassified his military occupation specialty in August 1998 to a Cavalry Scout.

"Staff Sgt. West led by example and from the front. His calm, resolute leadership always produced effective results. He will be missed," said Lt. Col. Michael Iacobucci, 3rd Sqd., 73 CAV Commander.

West's awards and decorations include: the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with two silver oak leaf clusters, the Army Good Conduct Medal with three loops, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the /*Iraq*/ Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist's Badge.

West is survived by: his wife, Michelle West; his step daughters, Nistasha and Madison, all of Fort Bragg, NC; his father, Larry West, of Green Spring, W. Va.; and his mother Ilona Bauer.

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