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Safety Harbor GI dies in Iraq

Published July 3, 2007


SAFETY HARBOR - A feeling of emptiness swallowed Michael Rossi on Sunday as two uniformed men approached his door.

The two men told him his eldest son, Pfc. Jonathan Michael Rossi - a 2005 Countryside High graduate - had been killed in Iraq.

Rossi, 20, died Sunday in Baghdad from injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive devise and small arms fire, the Defense Department announced Monday.

Rossi, the fifth service member from Pinellas County to die in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, was part of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas. He is the 159th casualty from Florida.

Jon Rossi, one of eight siblings and stepsiblings, joined the Army two months after high school graduation. The shy young man had lost his mother, Myrna, to breast cancer when he was 11, Michael Rossi said.

The soldier loved martial arts and hoped to become a Ranger. But a knee injury during jump school sidetracked that goal. Rossi found another military speciality, working with explosive devices. He ultimately hoped to work for the CIA.

INGLIS SOLDIER KILLED: Army Sgt. William Wayne Crow, 28, from Inglis was killed in Iraq on Thursday when his Humvee rolled over an improvised bomb, the Defense Department said.

News researcher Carolyn Edds and the Associated Press contributed to this report. Demorris A. Lee can be reached at 727 445-4174 or

[Last modified July 3, 2007, 00:41:48]

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