New Bern resident and Navy Corpsman Gilbert Minjares was killed Wednesday in Iraq. He was among those killed when a Sea Knight helicopter went down Northwest of Baghdad.
Friends of the family say Minjares had been deployed for only six days.
He leaves behind a wife and two young children, one a newborn girl.
Neighbors Max Freeze and Bea Mayo say Minjares was an important part of the neighborhood, and his death leaves a void that cannot be filled.
The fatal crash that killed Minjares was the fifth chopper to go down in three weeks.