North Valley Soldier Killed In Iraq

May 28, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A North Valley soldier, on his fourth tour of duty in Iraq, is killed by a roadside bomb.Army officials say 25-year-old sergeant Frank Gasper died from injuries two days after the device exploded near his vehicle.

Frank Gaspar left Merced six years ago. He joined the Army and was killed during his fourth tour of duty in Iraq. He died Sunday when a roadside bomb destroyed the vehicle he was in. Friends say despite knowing all the risks, he was a dedicated soldier.

The pictures show a confident young soldier and his friends said Frank Gaspers confidence carried him through four tours of duty in Iraq. "He was a tough guy. Never complained about his job. He was always willing to go. Never thought anything would happen," said friend Spring Gose.

Spring and Jeremy Gose had been frank's friends since high school. They kept in close contact and said frank felt he was needed in Iraq. "He was believing he was making a difference and all that was going on. He believed all he was doing was right," said Jeremy Gose.

Frank gasper wrote home about fighting. In a letter given to us by his uncle he wrote: "I know inside I am one of the best warriors here and that is why I am picked so much to go out there and fight."

Frank was stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado for the past five years. His wife Brianna is there. Over the phone she told us: "He was a good man. He was my best friend. He will be missed."

Frank gasper was 25-years-old. Born on Veterans Day 1983, he is survived by his wife, parents, and a younger sister who's husband is in the Army, serving in Iraq in Frank's same unit.

Frank gasper attended Golden Valley High School in Merced. He is the fourth member of the military from Merced County to die in Iraq.

A memorial service is planned on June 2nd.