MN soldier killed in Iraq

7:42 AM, Jun 9, 2011   |    comments
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MADELIA, Minn. -- 20-year-old Sgt. Emilio Campo, Jr. has been killed in Iraq. Campo, an army medic from Madelia in Southern Minnesota, was killed Monday in combat.

His community is feeling the loss.

It's the last week of school at Madelia High School, where teachers and students say they can't stop thinking about Campo.

"It's been heartbreaking," said Samantha Dawn Bestick, a classmate of Campo's. "He would just make friends where ever he went. He was really happy. I don't think I've ever seen him mad."

Campo was in the Class of 2009 at Madelia. His choice to train as an army medic surpriced no one.

"He was always just helping people. I mean no matter what," said classmate Dustin Van Hale. "It didn't matter who you were or what you were doing, he was always helping you. He was always looking out for everybody."

When word came that Emilio had been killed, his city put up the 4th of July flags in his honor, as his classmates hung yellow ribbons.

Campo's heart was still very much in Madelia.

Madelia High School Principal Allan Beyer said Emilio came to visit his old school when he was home on leave.

"He'd stop and say hi to us in the office and visit. He would visit with teachers. He would go around visit with students," said Beyer.

His picture seems to be on every page of his high school yearbook.

Campo played varsity football, basketball, ran track, was a member of the Business Professionals of America, and sang in the choir.

Madelia Athletic Director Paul Carpenter said he will be missed.

"When he graduated from school there was a big piece of our school missing and leaving when he graduated," Carpenter said.
Emilio's younger brother Hugo is a member of the junior class at Madelia.

His older brother Hector also joined the military after graduating from Madelia.

Friends say his parents have traveled to the east coast to greet their son's body when it arrives back in America.

The army has release no specifics of how Sgt. Campo died, though his death coincides with a rocket attack that killed five American servicemen earlier this week.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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