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Memorial Services

Soldiers stand alongside the memorial to Spc. Joel Bertoldie.
Charlie Mayer, NPR News /
Soldiers stand alongside the memorial to Spc. Joel Bertoldie.

On Friday, July 18, Army Spc. Joel Bertoldie of the 4th Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment died when his vehicle was hit by an explosion in the Iraqi town of Fallujah. He was 20 years old.

NPR's Eric Westervelt files an audio postcard of a memorial service for Bertoldie.

Soldiers gathered on Sunday evening for the service at Al Habbaniyah Air Base, northwest of Baghdad. As is tradition in the Army, Spc. Bertoldie's boots, rifle, identification tags and helmet stood at the center of the memorial service.

Bertoldie, of Independence, Mo., joined the 4th Battalion in October 2001. He arrived in Kuwait last fall, just after the birth of his son, Jesse Michael Bertoldie.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eric Westervelt is a San Francisco-based correspondent for NPR's National Desk. He has reported on major events for the network from wars and revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa to historic wildfires and terrorist attacks in the U.S.