Fallen Arizona soldier re-enlisted to help others

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42-yr-old AZ soldier killed

TUCSON -- A memorial service for a Phoenix soldier who died in a Christmas Eve rocket attack in Afghanistan will be held on Sunday.

Cpl. Charles Gaffney, Jr. will be honored by family at his younger sister's gravesite in Tucson. The 42-year-old infantryman with the Army's 101st Airborne Division will be buried later at Arlington National Cemetery.

Gaffney's father says his son rejoined the Army several years ago because he wanted to protect "people's rights around the world." He had served in the Army in the mid-1980s and then returned to Tucson and worked in several auto repair shops before moving to Las Vegas and then Phoenix.

Charles Gaffney Sr. says his son told him when he reenlisted several years ago that he never wanted his daughters to be oppressed like many women are in Afghanistan. He says his son was an avid motorcyclist and raced in Germany when he was based there.

He's also survived his wife and two daughters, and by his mother, two sisters and a brother.

Information from: Arizona Daily Star

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Valley soldier killed in Afghanistan on Christmas Eve

PHOENIX - A Valley soldier has died while fighting for his country overseas.

The Department of Defense announced Monday that 42-year-old Cpl. Charles P. Gaffney, from Phoenix, died on Christmas Eve in Paktika, Afghanistan.

His death comes after his combat outpost reportedly received enemy rocket fire. Cpl. Gaffney was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell.