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Iowa soldier killed in Afghanistan

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A western-Iowa soldier died while serving in Afghanistan.

The Omaha World-Herald reported the death of 25-year-old Sgt. James Skalberg. Skalberg grew up in Emerson, Iowa and graduated from Nishna Valley High School.

The Iowa National Guard confirmed Skalberg’s death, saying he was killed when the vehicle he was driving was attacked by an improvised explosive device.  First Lt. Stephen C. Prasnicki, 24, of Lexington, Virginia was also killed in the attack. 

Sgt. Skalberg was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart posthumously.  Before his death, Sgt. Skalberg has also received the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Driver’s Badge, Air Assault Badge and Combat Action Badge.

Sgt. Skalberg served in field artillery.  He also leaves behind an 11-month-old son.  Funeral arrangements were pending.

Sgt. Skalberg’s family issued a statement after his death:

“James was loved by his family, friends and community. Carefree, easy-going, reliable, level-headed, loving, he was a gentleman in all respects. He was the true love of Jessica’s life. They met when Jessica was 15-years old and Jamie was 17 and their young love grew into so much more. A proud father, he was excited to have more children and was looking forward to teaching them how to play basketball. He was proud to serve his country and was greatly respected and loved by his Soldiers. He will be greatly missed and remembered forever.”