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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 2, 2010

Isle Guard soldier dies in Iraq

Advertiser Staff

A Hawai'i Army National Guard soldier from Pearl City has died in a noncombat incident in Iraq.

Pfc. Raymond Pacleb, 31, died Monday in Baghdad, the U.S. and Hawai'i Defense officials said yesterday.

Pacleb, a 1996 graduate of Pearl City High School who worked at Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 487th Field Artillery, 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The state said Pacleb volunteered to deploy with the Virginia Army National Guard's 229th Military Police Company as a unit supply specialist.

The circumstances surrounding his death remain under investigation.

The Pacleb family released a statement asking for a private period of mourning.

"Raymond will be missed very much and the Pacleb family knows he is in a better place," the statement said. "We are very proud of our son's service to his country and look up to him as a hero."

Maj. Gen. Robert Lee, Hawai'i adjutant general, called Pacleb's death "heartbreaking."

"We know his tragic passing is a very solemn and sobering event for his entire family," Lee said in a statement. "The members of the Hawai'i National Guard grieve along with his family during this difficult time."