Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Soldier sends letter to squad after being killed

Services set for soldier killed in Iraq By PAUL LEAKAN AND DANIELLE CAMILLI Burlington County Times MAPLE SHADE - Funeral services for U.S. Army Spc. David P. Mahlenbrock, who was killed in Iraq on Friday, will be held here Sunday and Monday before the township native is laid to rest Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Family and friends may call Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Inglesby-Givnish Funeral Home, 600 E. Main St. in Maple Shade. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 26 Forklanding Road. Mahlenbrock will be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday at 10 a.m.. Mahlenbrock, 20, was killed when an improvised explosive device detonated while he was clearing a route in Iraq, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. A graduate of Maple Shade High School, Mahlenbrock was a combat engineer who cleared roads and swept mines with the Army's 65th Engineer Battalion, 25th Infantry Division. He was stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. Mahlenbrock leaves behind his wife, Melissa, and their 10-week-old daughter, Kadence. He is also survived by his father, Russell Mahlenbrock; brothers Chris, Andrew and Darek; and his stepmother, Elizabeth. The Maple Shade Veterans of Foreign War Post 2445 will pay tribute to Mahlenbrock by serving as an honor guard at the services, said John Radie, past post commander. The U.S. Army also will provide an honor guard. "We are doing whatever we can for the family," Radie said yesterday. "He was a vet and he was overseas serving his country when he was killed. He died too young and we want to give him full military honors." Soldiers' Angels, a Nevada-based nonprofit organization that seeks to support U.S. military personnel and their families, is still attempting to convince country music star Toby Keith to personally sing "American Soldier" during Mahlenbrock's funeral. Mahlenbrock requested that the song be played during his funeral in a letter he wrote to his fellow squad members July 1. Viktoria Carter, director of public relations for Soldiers' Angels, said she has been in contact with Keith's managers about the proposal. Carter said she and other members of Soldiers' Angels have already begun calling country-and-western radio stations in various parts of the United States to request that they play "American Soldier" at 1 p.m. Wednes-day. The song would be dedicated to Mahlenbrock. "This family story has touched so many different people," Carter said. "...There's a lot of people rooting for this family."

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