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Tonawanda soldier dies in Iraq explosion Pfc. Dwane A. Covert Jr. killed during cleanup

Army Pfc. Dwane A. Covert Jr., 20, of the Town of Tonawanda, died Saturday in Al-Sahra, Iraq, after he was injured in a noncombat incident.

Covert was assigned to the 104th Transportation Company, 13th Corps, Support Sustainment Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.

The son of Teresa and Dwane A. Covert Sr. of the Town of Tonawanda, he attended Kenmore East High School. According to his mother, Covert joined the Army in 2006 and shipped out to Iraq during the 2006 surprise October snowstorm.

"He's from a military family," said Teresa Covert in a brief telephone interview Monday. "His father was a Marine and so is Dwane's [older] brother," Matthew.

According to Teresa Covert, her son and other soldiers were cleaning up debris around the base in Al-Sahra when Covert picked up a cylindrical object that appeared to be a caulk gun. He tried to knock some dirt off the object by hitting it against a building when it exploded.

"If he had thrown it in the garbage, it would have exploded and killed others who were around, but he took the brunt of it," Teresa Covert said.

She said another soldier nearby suffered shrapnel wounds.

Covert married Jeanette L. Darnley in March. The couple has a 22-month-old son, Cameron, and Jeanette Covert is pregnant with another baby due in December.

"He was held back from going out on another mission, because he was due back home for
the birth of his baby," said Teresa Covert.

"He had a great sense of humor. He was a loving, caring person who would do anything for anybody. And Dwane loved his wife and baby. He was so excited about having a baby girl. He even named the baby," she added.

The baby will be named Zoe.


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