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Soldier critical of Iraq war dies after auto wreck

  • Story Highlights
  • Spc. Jeremy Roebuck, 23, was injured last month near Fort Bragg
  • Relative says he was one of seven soldiers calling success in Iraq "far-fetched"
  • Two other soldiers who signed The New York Times piece died in 2007
  • Sergeant says Roebuck known for "thirst for knowledge and intellectual curiosity"
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(CNN) -- A third soldier who signed on to a 2007 newspaper column criticizing the war in Iraq has died.

His peers are mourning their friend as an "outstanding soldier" with "a thirst for knowledge and intellectual curiosity."

Spc. Jeremy Roebuck, 23, of Splendora, Texas, died from injuries after a January 28 automobile accident near Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The paratrooper was an assistant team leader with 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, according to a news release issued by the military.

A relative confirmed that he was one of the people to sign an August 19, 2007, opinion article in The New York Times that called the prospects of U.S. success in Iraq "far-fetched" and said the progress being reported was offset by failures elsewhere.

Seven soldiers, members of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, based at Fort Bragg, signed the column.

In September 2007, two of the other U.S. soldiers who signed the piece were killed in a truck accident outside Baghdad, Staff Sgt. Yance Gray and Sgt. Omar Mora.

As for Roebuck, he reported to Fort Bragg in November 2004 and was initially assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team before being assigned to 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment as an assistant team leader in November 2005. He deployed to Iraq in 2006, the military said.

"Spc. Roebuck was an outstanding soldier who was respected by both his peers and his superiors alike. He had proven himself in combat on the front lines in Iraq and had established himself as an upcoming leader in the unit. He was a good man and will be profoundly missed by the men of C Troop," said Capt. Jon Hartsock, commander of C Troop, 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment.

Named as a sergeant in The Times article, Roebuck was listed at the lower rank of specialist when he died. A military spokesman would not elaborate on the circumstances involving his rank.

The Times column said, "Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise, while we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence.

"When the primary preoccupation of average Iraqis is when and how they are likely to be killed, we can hardly feel smug as we hand out care packages," it said.

Another of the soldiers who signed the article, Staff Sgt. Jeremy Murphy, was shot in the head a week before the article appeared, but survived.

The military, in its news release on the death, said Roebuck's friends remember him as "a rare and gifted soldier." He received many awards and decorations.

"Spc. Roebuck is known throughout the troop for his consistent displays of courage and determination in 16 months of combat," Sgt. Buddhika Jayamaha said, "but he is also known for his thirst for knowledge and intellectual curiosity."

Sgt. Buddhika Jayamaha is one of the seven names on The Times article.

All About Iraq WarThe New York Times Company

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