The Pentagon says an Army Special Forces medical sergeant from central Illinois has been killed in Iraq.
Fort Bragg spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Hans Bush says Staff Sergeant Gary R. Harper Junior was killed Sunday when insurgents ambushed his unit during a reconnaissance mission near Baghdad.
Harper joined the Army in 1993 and was deployed to Iraq in June.
The 29-year-old Virden, Illinois native had been assigned to the Second Battalion, Fifth Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
He is survived by a wife and three children.
His mother Linda Morrison says the family wants privacy to mourn their loss.
Virden is just outside of Springfield about 80 miles north of Saint Louis.