A soldier from central New Jersey has been killed in southern Iraq.
Family members tell The Star-Ledger of Newark that 25-year-old Army Lt. Omar Vazquez of Hamilton (Mercer County) was one of two soldiers killed Friday morning by an improvised explosive device.
But further details about the incident were not immediately disclosed, and the Department of Defense had not confirmed Moore's death as of late Saturday afternoon.
Vazquez served with Fox Troop, 2nd Squadron in the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment based at Fort Hood in Texas. He had deployed to Iraq last August and was serving his first tour there.
Vazquez graduated from Rider University in 2007, earning a degree in history, and then earned a master's degree in liberal studies from Rutgers-Camden University in 2009.
"He was such a great man and always wanted to fight for his country,'' Marisel Vazquez said of her brother, who she described as a natural leader and passionate reader who especially enjoyed books on history and social sciences.
"He was very proud to be in the Army. It was what he wanted ever since he played with G.I. Joe soldiers when he was 3 or 4 years old. But it was when the Sept. 11 attacks happened, he really committed to serving his country."