Soldier From Wisconsin Killed in Iraq

By: Bill Martens
By: Bill Martens

They say his smile could light up a room, but now a Wisconsin family is mourning the loss of a loved one killed in Iraq. Twenty-one-year-old Paul Sturino of Rice Lake died Monday after being shot by what the army calls non-hostile fire in northern Iraq. The incident is being investigated.

Sturino's family says a career in the military was something Paul always wanted.

"It was something his older brother did. He wanted to be there for his family and country and he loved what he was doing," says Paul's sister, Amy.

Signs of support decorate their home in rural Rice Lake. He was a graduate of Rice Lake High School in 2001. He was on the wrestling team and was well liked according to his coaches.

"Just an all around good person," says Sturino's former wrestling coach Randy Drost.

"He knew how to get along with people and I think that carried over to his career in the military."

"He's one of those kids who'd stick around after practice and talk about everyday life and not just a person who passes through," says another former coach Gregg Kruzynski. "He took an active interest in what was going on."

Sturino's family says he'll be buried at the Wisconsin Veteran's Memorial in Spooner. He's the fourth Wisconsin soldier to die in military action in Iraq, and the 22nd from the Army's 101st Airborne.

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