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Memorial today for three soldiers

Fort Lewis will have a memorial service today for three of its combat engineers, including a Lacey resident, who died in Afghanistan last month.

Family and friends will gather at the Main Post Chapel this afternoon to honor Sgt. 1st Class Rocky H. Herrera, 43, of Salt Lake City; Sgt. Cory L. Clark, 25, of Plant City, Fla.; and Sgt. Bryce D. Howard, 24, of Vancouver, Wash.

The soldiers, all assigned to the 864th Engineer Battalion, died as a result of injuries from the blast of a suicide bomber Aug. 28.

Herrera and Clark were assigned to the battalion's 585th Engineer Pipeline Company; Howard served with its Headquarters Support Company.

Herrera, a construction equipment supervisor, and his wife, Traci, purchased a home in the Lakepointe neighborhood of Lacey in August 2005, shortly after he transferred to Fort Lewis. He was buried last week in his hometown.

The attack was the deadliest for Fort Lewis troops in Afghanistan since the U.S. invasion began nearly six years ago.

Their battalion, a subordinate unit of the 555th Engineer Brigade, also known as the Triple Nickel, is on its third deployment in 4 1/2 years.

The soldiers were assigned to the 864th Engineer Battalion, which deployed to the Middle East in March. The battalion had deployed to Iraq in March 2003 and to Afghanistan in March 2005.

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