Army 1st Lt. Leevi K. Barnard

Died May 21, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

28, of Mount Airy, N.C.; assigned to the 252nd Combined Arms Battalion, Fayetteville, N.C.; died May 21 near Baghdad of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Maj. Jason E. George and Sgt. Paul F. Brooks.

Interests spanned from philosophy to war

The Associated Press

Leevi K. Barnard’s family described him as a quiet man with a dry sense of humor, a very private but thoughtful person who liked to read Plato and “The Art of War.” He also enjoyed sports, particularly playing on the church softball team and fantasy football.

“To me, if there ever was a hero, he was a hero,” said Thomas Barnard, his grandfather.

Barnard, 28, of Mount Airy, N.C., died May 21 near Baghdad of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked. He was assigned to Fayetteville, N.C.

He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in Arabic studies.

“He knew how to make you laugh, and if he didn’t make you laugh, he knew how to make you smile,” said Dianne Orr, a friend.

He also is survived by his mother and stepfather, Pam B. and Larry Payne; his father, Geoffrey Gordon; and his stepmother, Gloria Gordon.

“It was a privilege to have Leevi as a friend,” said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Street. “All the things that made him a good officer made him an even better friend.”

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