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Army Reserve Capt. Brian Freeman, 31, Temecula; abducted, executed in Iraq

March 11, 2007|Doug Smith | Times Staff Writer

"Brian was one of those people who would ride with anybody," Peters said. "Many developed into world-class athletes."

But when his enlistment ended in 2004, Freeman had found a new passion.

While training for the bobsled in San Diego, Freeman was reintroduced by a friend to a former classmate at Torrey Pines High.

"It was love at first sight," Charlotte Freeman said.

They were married May 1, 2004, and Freeman embraced civilian life.

He became an advance planner for KB Homes, working with local officials and interest groups to prepare for new developments.

"He's always been interested in politics," his wife said. "I think he was pushing his way in that direction."

The Freemans had a son, Gunner, now 2, and Charlotte was pregnant with their daughter, Ingrid, now 1, when he was recalled to active duty.

Freeman obtained a postponement to be home for his daughter's birth but decided not to contest his obligation.

Freeman reported to the 412th Civil Affairs Battalion in Whitehall, Ohio, and was dispatched to Iraq in April.

In Iraq, Freeman met Ali, the 11-year-old son of an Iraqi policeman, who had a terminal heart condition and needed surgery.

Freeman found Rotary Gift of Life, a New York-based organization that provides heart surgery for needy children, which flew Ali to New York for surgery.

Ali's successful surgery was exactly one month after Freeman was killed.

Charlotte Freeman went to New York for the operation and plans to stay active in the organization as a spokeswoman.

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