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Soldier From Concord Killed In Iraq

Private First Class James McClamrock align=left

A Concord man became one of the first U.S. Army soldiers to die in Iraq since the official end of combat operations there. Private First Class James McClamrock died Tuesday. President Obama was clear in his primetime speech last week that the end of combat operations in Iraq doesn't mean the end of danger for U.S. soldiers there. One week after that speech, the sober truth of his message was borne out. Military officials say a gunman in an Iraqi army uniform fired on American soldiers Tuesday at a base north of Bagdad. Nine were wounded. Two died, including 22-year-old Private First Class James McClamrock. "He was, um, he was one of the good ones," says McClamrock family friend Kip Travis. He watched James grow up in the Statesville area. "He had his head on straight," says Travis. "There's a lot of temptations out there for teens and a lot of them take bad turns. He avoided all of that. And he was just a fine young man." And a spiritual one, adds Travis. McClamrock's father Mark is the pastor of Concord ARP Church. Travis says he wasn't surprised that James enlisted in the Army a year ago. "I know that he loved his country and that he did what he thought was right and he had a strong faith and hopefully God will be glorified in this somehow," says Travis. "He was cream of the crop, for lack of a better word. And he will be missed." Private First Class James McClamrock leaves behind a wife and five siblings. His parents Mark and Susan live in Concord.