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West Point Graduate Is First of `Class of 9/11' to Die in Combat

The Nation

September 27, 2006|From the Associated Press

WEST POINT, N.Y. — The first member of West Point's "Class of 9/11" to die in combat was buried at the military academy Tuesday, two weeks after she was killed by a bomb at the head of a convoy in Iraq.

Army 2nd Lt. Emily Perez, 23, was leading a platoon when a roadside bomb exploded south of Baghdad. She was the first female West Point graduate to die in Iraq and the highest-ranking black and Hispanic woman cadet in the school's history.

"She was like a little superwoman, so full of energy and life," said Meghan Venable-Thomas, a senior who participated in track and in gospel choir with Perez.

The academy's Class of 2005 is called the "Class of 9/11" because the attacks occurred just weeks into its freshman year.

Half of the class remains on duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Perez was a Medical Service Corps officer assigned to the 204th Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division in Fort Hood, Texas.

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