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Va. Sergeant Is Killed in Iraq

Sgt. David E. Lambert was engaged to be married.
Sgt. David E. Lambert was engaged to be married. (National Guard Photo - National Guard Photo)

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By Jonathan Mummolo
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sgt. David E. Lambert, a Virginia Army National Guardsman who died Friday after an explosion in Baghdad, was a dedicated soldier, active in his church and engaged to be married at the time of his death, a soldier from his former unit said.

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Lambert, 39, was from Cedar Bluff in Tazewell County.

"This is a significant loss, not only to the Virginia Guard but to the community," said Sgt. 1st Class James Spurlock, who had known Lambert since 2005. "As a soldier he was excellent. . . . He didn't need to be told to do things."

Lambert was assigned to the 237th Engineer Company, 276th Engineer Battalion, 91st Troop Command, based in West Point, Va.

Lambert enlisted in the Army in 1988 and in the National Guard in July 2005. He left Virginia on July 19 for training at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin and arrived in Iraq on Sept. 26, said Capt. Dayna E. Rowden, a Guard spokeswoman.

Lambert, a combat engineer, was killed when a vehicle he was riding in Thursday struck a makeshift bomb, Rowden said. A specialist at the time of his death, he was posthumously promoted to sergeant.

"The loss of this brave soldier is felt deeply by his fellow guardsmen," Maj. Gen. Robert B. Newman Jr., the adjutant general of Virginia, said in a statement. "I know that all Virginians share the grief felt by his family, and I ask our fellow citizens to keep Specialist Lambert and his family in their prayers."

Lambert, who grew up in Virginia, worked as a corrections officer in a state prison and studied criminal justice at Southwest Virginia Community College, Spurlock said.

He was divorced and had no children, Spurlock said.

In Iraq, Lambert served as a driver and squad automatic weapon gunner, Rowden said.

His awards included a Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge, Rowden said.

Lambert is survived by his parents, who could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Staff researcher Meg Smith contributed to this report.

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