Fort Bragg paratrooper killed in Iraq

FORT BRAGG, North Carolina (WTVD) -- An 82nd Airborne Division Paratrooper was killed in Iraq when an improvised explosive device detonated during a patrol outside Mosul.

First Lieutenant Weston C. Lee, 25, of Bluffton, Georgia, was an infantry officer assigned to 1st Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

"First Lieutenant Wes Lee was an extraordinary young man and officer," said Col. Pat Work, commander of 2nd Brigade Combat Team. "He was exactly the type of leader that our Paratroopers deserve. Our sincere condolences and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time."

First Lt. Lee joined the Army in March 2015 and, following the Infantry Basic Officer Leaders Course, was assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division as a platoon leader.

He deployed to Iraq in December 2016. This was his first deployment.

First Lt. Lee's awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Ranger Tab, the Parachutist Badge, and the Army Service Ribbon.

He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, and the Meritorious Service Medal.

The service member killed Saturday is the fifth combat death in Iraq since the U.S. launched military operations against IS in August 2014. IS fighters began growing in power in Iraq in early 2014 in the country's west and in the summer of 2014 swept across much of the country's north.

The soldiers' death comes just days after two other soldiers may have been killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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