An LDS soldier died recently while serving in the Middle East.

Killed was:

U.S. Army Specialist Damon G. LeGrand, 27, Lakeside, Calif.

A returned missionary and father, Brother LeGrand died June 12 in Buqubah, Iraq, when insurgents attacked his unit with anti-tank mines, rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. He was assigned to the 42nd Military Police Brigade, Fort Lewis, Wash.

A California native, Brother LeGrand grew up in the San Diego area before serving in the Utah Ogden Mission (2000-2002).

After completing his mission, Brother LeGrand married Ashley Putt on New Year's Eve in 2003. The LeGrands are the parents of two daughters: Moira, 2, and 6-month-old Kelsie.

Brother LeGrand began his deployment in Iraq last November and never saw his youngest daughter.

Ashley LeGrand said her husband's life was defined by his love for his family and faith.

"He is very devoted," Sister LeGrand said. "He talked about us all the time to his fellow soldiers."

Brother LeGrand had plans to become a police officer and one day enter politics. His goal was to make life better for others — a goal Sister LeGrand said her husband has realized through his military service and sacrifice.

Brother LeGrand is also survived by his parents, Don and Glenna LeGrand of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and three siblings.

A memorial service was held in Brother LeGrand's honor on June 16. Graveside services were planned for June 22 in San Diego.