Oregon soldier killed by roadside bomb in Iraq

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - A soldier from Springfield is the latest Oregon casualty of the Iraq war, his family said Tuesday.

Army Sgt. Brennan Gibson, a 1997 graduate of Thurston High School, was killed Sunday when a roadside bomb struck his Humvee, according to Ken Brown, a pastor and family spokesman.

Gibson, 26, was one of three soldiers killed in the attack on the outskirts of Baghdad. The soldiers had completed a patrol and were heading back to their base when the bomb exploded, Brown said.

"He loved being a soldier, and he was a good one," Brown said.

His death had not been officially confirmed by the Army.

Brown said he was with the Gibson family when military personnel brought the news to them Monday morning. They first learned of the death in a phone call from Gibson's wife, Corinna, late Sunday, he said.

Gibson, the son of John and Linda Gibson of Springfield, left for Iraq shortly after the birth of his son, Kaden, Brown said.

After high school, Gibson attended Oregon State University in Corvallis, graduating in 2003 with a bachelor of science in art, with a special focus on graphic design. He was a member of Theta Chi fraternity.

Brown said he believes that Gibson and his wife met as students at OSU.

Gibson was a member of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, based out of Fort Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska.

About 3,500 members of the division were deployed to Iraq in mid-October for a one-year tour of duty, an Army spokeswoman in Anchorage said.

Brown said he has known the Gibson family for more than 11 years, first at Eastside Faith Center and more recently as pastor of Hope Chapel in west Eugene. John Gibson works as a building inspector, and Linda Gibson works in sales for an adhesives firm. Brennan Gibson is the youngest of their six children.

Brown described Gibson a "one of those guys that whatever he does, he equips himself to do it well," Brown said. "He was going to be a father, and he was so looking forward to that."

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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