UPDATED: Funeral Plans Set For National Guardsman Killed In Iraq

A funeral for a North Carolina National Guard soldier killed last week in Iraq is planned for Wednesday.

The obituary of 39-year-old Spc. Robert L. Bittiker of Jacksonville says he will be buried Wednesday morning. The service will be held at Jones Funeral Home in Jacksonville and he will be buried with military honors.

Bittiker and three other soldiers were in a vehicle that was hit by the roadside bomb June 29 in Baghdad. The soldiers were members
of the National Guard's 120th Combined Arms Battalion in Wilmington.

His obituary said Bittiker enlisted in the National Guard in
1990 and previously served in Bosnia and Iraq. He worked for Morton Trucking Company and owned a taxi in Jacksonville.

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Four members of a North Carolina National Guard unit, based in Jacksonville, have been killed in Iraq.

The flag at the National Guard Armory in Jacksonville is flying at half-staff.

The four members belong to A Company, 120th Combined Arms Battalion and died in an attack Monday.

The National Guard identified them as Edward Chester Kramer, 39, of Wilmington, Sgt. Roger Leeroy Adams, Jr., 36, of Jacksonville, Sgt. Carlos Baldeosingh, a hospital security guard and Sgt. Robert Bittiker of Jacksonville.

Friday we spoke to Sergeant Bittiker's mother, Mary Wheat about the unexpected and tragic death of her son. She found out about his death Tuesday, after watching the news about the war in Iraq.

The Bittiker family expects to have a funeral for their son sometime next week.

A memorial service will also be held Monday at Carteret General Hospital for Sergeant Carlos Baldeosingh.

Co-workers say Baldeosingh was killed in Baghdad on Monday, a day before the U.S. pulled its forces out of the Iraqi capital.

Baldeosingh was on leave from his job as a security guard at Carteret General Hospital.

Bittiker's stepfather, Brian Wheat, told WITN News that the sergeant was killed with riding in a Humvee with the other guardsmen. Bittiker leaves behind a wife and two children.

Baldeosingh's wife told the hospital all four men were part of her husband's company.

These most recent deaths bring to 15 the total number of North Carolina National Guard Soldiers killed in action since September 11,2001.

Flags at the hospital are at half-staff, while other security officers on Friday had black bands over their badges. The hospital plans to hold a memorial for Baldeosingh on Monday at 2:30 p.m.

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