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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- An Army Ranger from Utah has been killed in an apparent suicide bombing at a checkpoint outside of Baghdad.
Staff Sgt. Nino D. Livaudais, 23, was among the three soldiers killed Thursday night a car exploded at a U.S. checkpoint northwest of Baghdad. The Pentagon said the three soldiers killed were members of the 3rd Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment, based at Fort Benning, Ga.
He is the second Utah resident killed in action in Iraq.
Livaudais is survived by his wife, Jackie, and two young children. His wife is pregnant with their third child.
Livaudais grew up in Utah, where he later met and married his wife. He joined the military just out of high school, becoming a U.S. Army Ranger in 1999.
His mother recently moved from Utah to Ohio, and she was en route to Fort Benning upon receiving word Thursday of her son's death in combat, Jackie Livaudais said.
She told the Deseret News she was very proud of her husband, but would not comment further at the advice of the military.
Livaudais was based out of Fort Benning but lived with his family at nearby Fort Mitchell, about five miles away in Alabama.
Another soldier with Utah connections also died on Thursday.
Sgt. 1st Class Randall S. Rehn, a former commander of the South Salt Lake Recruiting Station, died in fighting near Saddam International Airport.
Rehn, whose hometown was Longmont, Colo., was a 16-year Army veteran. He worked at the recruiting station from September 1999 to June of 2002, frequently talking with students at Granite High School.
He had been stationed at Fort Sill, Okla., and lived near the base with his wife and 7-month-old daughter, said Joe Rehn, his brother.
Joe Rehn described his brother as a prankster who loved to golf and hunt.
"He was very outgoing, a joker and always looking for somebody to play a practical joke on," he said.
Rehn, who joined the Army in 1987, was in an artillery unit attached to the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, his family said.
"He was over there for the right reasons -- to fight terrorism and make it a safer place for people to live in," Joe Rehn said.
Utah's first soldier killed in the war was Marine reservist and Salt Lake police officer James W. Cawley, 41, of Layton.
He died March 29 during a firefight near Nasiriyah, Iraq. Cawley, a staff sergeant with Company F of the 2nd Battalion 23rd Regiment Marines, was killed when he was struck by a coalition forces' Humvee as he sought a secure position out of the line of enemy fire. Cawley served in the police department's gang unit and SWAT team.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)