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Jun-29-2007 20:19printcomments

Soldiers in Iraq Declared Missing, Possibly Captured

Military officials say efforts continue for their successful and safe return.

25-year old Alex R. Jimenez and 19-year old Byron W. Fouty
25-year old Alex R. Jimenez and 19-year old Byron W. Fouty are missing in action

(BAGHDAD, Iraq) - Two soldiers from the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division who were missing from an operation in Iraq, are now believed to be missing, and government sources acknowledge that they have been possibly captured by enemy forces.

The Department of Defense has changed the status of two soldiers serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom from duty status whereabouts unknown "DUSTWUN" as the military calls it, to missing-captured.

19-year old Byron W. Fouty, a U.S. Army private from Waterford, Michigan, and 25-year old Alex R. Jimenez, an Army specialist from of Lawrence, Massachusetts, were declared missing-captured June 27th.

Their particular story dates back to May 12th; Fouty and Jimenez and two other soldiers were categorized as DUSTWUN when their patrol was attacked by enemy forces using automatic fire and explosives in Al Taqa, Iraq.

The Detroit News says a woman who considers Army Pvt. Byron W. Fouty, "like family," Cathy Conger of Walled Lake, Michigan, talked about how the 19-year old's absence looms.

"He doesn't deserve this," said Conger, 49. Her son is a close friend of the missing soldier. He invited Fouty to live with them for more than a year in 2005. "I'm just really devastated. It hurts so much." She says she prays to God that he makes it out safely.

In Bryon's last MySpace entry, dated April 12TH, he called his time in Iraq "a messed up year," and referenced his grandmother's death from cancer in 2005. He also lamented a comrade's suicide.

"This year has been coated with nothing but bad news, very little good news shining through," he wrote, calling his current mood "aggravated."

He said he had looked forward to a break for the holidays, but instead learned of a sobering development: "Now I find we're extended until November."

The mother of Massachusetts Specialist Alex R. Jimenez, missing in Iraq told a New York television station that waiting to know his fate is terrible, "but that she has faith he’ll come back."

The May 12th ambush about 20 miles outside Baghdad at Al Taqa that leaves these two men missing, killed four soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter.

The body of one of the three, Pvt. Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr., 20, of Torrance, Calif., was found. Sgt. Anthony J. Schober, 23, of Reno, Nev. also died in the attack and was recovered, as were Sgt. 1st Class James D. Connell Jr., Pfc. Daniel W. Courneya and Pfc. Christopher E. Murphy. They are assigned to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.

Military officials say efforts continue for their successful and safe return.

Frontline-News: Soldiers in Iraq Declared Missing, Possibly Captured

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