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Army IDs Body as Soldier from California

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Army IDs Body as Soldier from California

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Army IDs Body as Soldier from California

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ALEX COHEN, host:

From the studios of NPR West, this is DAY TO DAY. I'm Alex Cohen.

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

And I'm Madeleine Brand.

Coming up, Rudolph Giuliani got rid of porn in Times Square. Will that placate religious conservatives who don't like his family values? First though, one of the three soldiers who had been missing in Iraq for two weeks has been found dead.

COHEN: Army Private First Class Joseph Anzack Jr. was captured by Iraqi insurgents on May 12th along with two other soldiers. Late yesterday, Anzack's family and friends in Torrance, California were told his body had been found in a river south of Baghdad. Joseph Anzack Jr. was 20 years old. He went to high school at South High School in Torrance, where he was on the football team.

We're joined now by Josh Waybright. He's the coach of the football team at South High. Welcome to the program.

Mr. JOSH WAYBRIGHT (Teacher, Coach): Thank you.

COHEN: Coach Waybright, could you tell us a bit about Joseph Anzack Jr.? How do you remember him?

Mr. WAYBRIGHT: I remember Joe as a loyal, committed, hardworking young man that did anything you asked, and then some, a pleasure to be around, one of those kids you want in your program. He was with me for two and a half years, and I was probably with him every day with the exception of maybe five to six weeks during that two and half year period. And it's tough, you know, you become close to the kids. You see them grow from little kids into men. I was fortunate enough to Joe do that.

COHEN: When was the last time you saw Joe?

Mr. WAYBRIGHT: Two years ago. It was the last game of the season and he came by. I believe he was on - I think he had just gotten out of boot camp and he came by to watch the game. We were - the seniors were in the locker room and at that moment we try to keep everybody that's not part of the team away. I asked Joe to be the security guard for them and I said, hey, Joe, you know, don't let anybody get into the locker room here. And I think he did the best job I have ever seen of being the security guard; nobody was getting by Joe.

COHEN: Sounds like a natural-born soldier.

Mr. WAYBRIGHT: Yes, he was. You know what? He definitely was made to be in the Army. In fact, we were looking at a program that the kids had to fill out his senior year. And it says where you see yourself in five years. And he said Army Special Forces.

COHEN: Did he talk at all what he wanted to accomplish in the Army?

Mr. WAYBRIGHT: I think he - more than anything Joe just enjoyed the - I guess you'd say the roughness of it. He enjoyed being a soldier; he enjoyed everything about it. Seemed like he enjoyed the camaraderie with his fellow soldiers. He enjoyed everything that the Army presented, the discipline, I guess you could say, the physical training, being able to shoot different guns and things of that nature.

COHEN: How do you think Joe would want to be remembered at South High?

Mr. WAYBRIGHT: I would say as a soldier, I would say as a soldier. As someone that did what he believed in. You know, that was Joe. He did what he believed in. And when he did something, there was no stopping him. You know, he was going to do it to the best of his ability. And you weren't going to hold him back, and I think that's how Joe would want to be remembered.

COHEN: Josh Waybright coaches football at South High School in Torrance, California. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us.

Mr. WAYBRIGHT: Thank you.

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