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Soldier Who Refused to Go to Syria Killed

WEST SENECA, N.Y. - When a call to active duty interrupted National Guard Spc. David Roustum's final semester in college, his Syrian-born father suggested he could avoid combat by going to Syria .

"I would send you," the father offered.

"Dad, I would never do that. This is my country and I will do whatever it takes," was Roustum's reply, his now-grieving father recalled Monday after learning Roustum had been killed in Baghdad . "That tells you the kind of person he was."

Military officials told Russ Roustum and his wife, Jennifer, that their youngest son died in an ambush Saturday. At least three other soldiers from Roustum's 108th Infantry Regiment were wounded, the family said.

Three of the injured soldiers' mothers came to the Roustums' suburban Buffalo home Sunday to say they believe David Roustum, 22, saved their sons' lives.

"Two of them are severely injured but the other one was able to talk to his mother," Russ Roustum said.

The Roustums, who live in West Seneca, had no other details on the ambush, nor did a spokesman for the Army National Guard in Albany . The Department of Defense had not yet confirmed the death Monday.

Russ Roustum said the message from the soldiers' mothers did not surprise him. His son, Roustum said, was a leader who played quarterback for his Orchard Park High School football team and captained the club hockey team the year it went from last place to first.
Roustum, who followed his older brother into the military, had been months away from finishing an accounting degree at the University at Buffalo when he was sent to Iraq in March.

At the high school Roustum attended, flags flew at half-staff Monday and students and staff observed a moment of silence after being told of Roustum's death over the public-address system.

"David was an outstanding student, athlete, soldier and human being," said the principal, Robert Farwell.


Article from Axis History at link above





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