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Spokane soldier, 23, killed in Iraq

Sun., Aug. 31, 2008, midnight

Carlo Alfonso leaves wife, 2-year-old son

Rose Marie Alfonso said she was prepared for some kinds of bad news when her husband, Carlo, deployed to Iraq.

Post-traumatic stress disorder, perhaps. Struggling to return to civilian life.

But she said she had not braced herself for the news she received last week: that he’d been killed by an improvised bomb in Iraq.

“It’s always a stress,” she said of the life of a military wife. “It is. They go on these missions, and you know what they’re doing. You know the risk. So it’s scary. But I never thought something like that would happen.”

A combat engineer specialist with the Army’s 40th Engineering Battalion, Carlo Alfonso died Tuesday, the week before his 24th birthday, the family said.

The Department of Defense has not confirmed his death. A spokesman said Saturday that sometimes public notifications are delayed by efforts to notify members of the family, but couldn’t comment specifically about Alfonso.

Rose Marie Alfonso, 22, said her husband was killed by an improvised explosive device, or IED. Two other soldiers were injured in the explosion.

The day of his death was also the couple’s eight-month wedding anniversary. Carlo Alfonso moved to Spokane from the Philippines in 1997 with his mom, and he and Rose Marie met as fellow students at West Valley High School, she said Saturday. The couple has a 2-year-old son, Kyle.

“He was friends with everybody,” she said. “Nobody hated him. He was a really sweet person.”

Carlo Alfonso was not yet a U.S. citizen, though he was working toward it and was proud to serve in the military, Rose Marie Alfonso said.

He was stationed in Baumholder, Germany, and had been called to Iraq in April for a 15-month tour.

His body is expected to be returned to Spokane on Friday.

He was three months away from getting a leave, Alfonso said – one that would have allowed them to celebrate their first wedding anniversary together.


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