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2 Idaho National Guard soldiers killed, 1 severely wounded in Iraq

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Posted: Saturday, July 9, 2011 4:39 pm | Updated: 11:00 pm, Sun Jul 10, 2011.

Two Idaho soldiers have been killed in Iraq and a third has been wounded, the U.S. Department of Defense said Saturday.

Spc. Nathan R. Beyers, 24, and Spc. Nicholas W. Newby, 20, died Thursday from injuries after insurgents attacked their convoy with an explosive in Baghdad.

Newby was from Coeur d'Alene, officials said. Beyers had been living in the Coeur d'Alene area before his deployment, but lived in Littleton, Colo. before that.

Officials said Staff Sgt. Jazon Rzepa, 30, of Idaho, suffered serious leg injuries in the attack. He has been taken to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for treatment.

The soldiers were assigned to the 116th Cavalry Heavy Brigade Combat Team, based in Post Falls, Idaho.

Idaho National Guard spokesman Col. Tim Marsano said Beyers has been an Idaho resident for a number of years and that his wife, Vanessa Beyers, and daughter, born in November last year, live in the Coeur d'Alene area.

"Nathan was proud of his job and serving our country," Vanessa Beyers said in a statement. "He died doing something he loved and was such a brave person. We just had our first child, and Nathan had a chance to visit us when he was home on leave in January. I told him I knew he was going to be a wonderful father. We are going to miss him."

Newby's mother and father released a statement, noting their son could play a variety of musical instruments, including guitar, bass guitar, saxophone and drums. They also said he was intellectually curious and an avid reader.

"Nick would do anything for anybody who needed his help," they said. "He'd stick by his friends and never gave up on anybody. He had a great sense of humor, ever since he was a kid. For instance, once when he saw his pregnant mom drinking orange juice, he said, `Mom, you're getting orange juice all over the baby!'"

They also said he enjoyed his truck. "He loved thrashing his truck and then fixing it; we recall digging him out of the snow and we all smiled through it. Nick loved his family, and everybody loved him."

The 116th Cavalry Heavy Brigade Combat Team is on a yearlong mobilization and deployment to Iraq as part of Operation New Dawn. It has 2,700 soldiers from Idaho, Montana and Oregon.

The soldiers are scheduled to return to the U.S. in September.

The following is a National Guard News Release - Two Idaho Soldiers of the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team killed in Iraq

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation New Dawn.

        They died July 7 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered when

insurgents attacked their convoy using an improvised explosive device.  They were assigned to 145th Brigade Support Battalion, 116th Cavalry Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Post Falls, Idaho.

     Killed were:

      Spc. Nathan R. Beyers, 24, of Littleton, Colo. [but who lived in

the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho area prior to his deployment] and  Spc. Nicholas W. Newby, 20, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

      "This is an extremely sad time for the Citizen Soldiers and

Citizen Airmen of the Idaho National Guard," said Maj. Gen. Gary L. Sayler,

commanding general of the Idaho National Guard. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family members of these fine Idaho Citizen Soldiers, and we will work to help and support these families with many types of assistance over the coming days, weeks, months and years."

*    Spc. Beyers leaves behind his wife Vanessa Beyers and his daughter,

born on Veterans Day, Nov 11, 2010.  His family has requested privacy and

they are not accepting requests for media interviews at this time.  However, Vanessa Beyers released this statement:

    *   "Nathan was proud of his job and serving our country.  He

died doing something he loved and was such a brave person.  We just had our first child and Nathan had a chance to visit us when he was home on leave in January.  I told him I knew he was going to be a wonderful father.  We are going to miss him."

*    Spc. Newby leaves behind family members including his mother Theresa Hart, father Wayne Newby, brothers Nathan and Ryder and many other family members and friends in the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho area and Connecticut.  His family has requested privacy during this difficult time and they are not accepting requests for media interviews.  His mother and father released this statement:

    *    "Nick would do anything for anybody who needed his help.

He'd stick by his friends and never gave up on anybody.  He had a great sense of humor, ever since he was a kid.  For instance, once when he saw his pregnant mom drinking orange juice, he said 'mom, you're getting orange juice all over the baby!'  Nick was intellectually curious and an avid reader.  He was also a planner - he researched things, planned out and then followed through with all he said.  He was a great musician who played many instruments including guitar, bass guitar, saxophone and drums.  Nick loved fishing, camping, road trips, learning to fly as a member of the Civil Air Patrol and wrestling with his brother.  He loved thrashing his truck and then fixing it; we recall digging him out of the snow and we all smiled through it.  Nick loved his family, and everybody loved him."

*    In the same attack that killed Spc. Beyers and Spc. Newby, Staff Sgt.

Jason Rzepa, an Idahoan with the 116 Cavalry Brigade Combat Team, sustained serious leg injuries (name pronunciation key: Rzepa is pronounced 'zeppa').

He has been stabilized and transported to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for further treatment.  His family is not accepting requests for interviews at this time.

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