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Steven Hutchison: 60-Year-Old US Soldier Oldest Killed In Iraq

AMANDA LEE MYERS   05/14/09 09:51 PM ET   AP

Iraq

PHOENIX — A 60-year-old Vietnam War veteran killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq has become the oldest Army soldier to die in that conflict, the military said Thursday.

Maj. Steven Hutchison, of Scottsdale, Ariz., served in Vietnam and wanted to re-enlist immediately after the 9/11 terror attacks, but his wife was against it, his brother said.

Richard Hutchison told The Associated Press on Thursday that when she died, "a part of him died" so he signed up in July 2007 at age 59.

"He was very devoted to the service and to his country," Richard Hutchison said.

He described him as a great big brother and friend. "I didn't want him to go," he said through tears, adding that he loved his brother "so much."

The Pentagon said Steven Hutchison was killed in Iraq on Sunday. Army spokesman Lt. Col. Nathan Banks said Thursday that Hutchison was the oldest Army soldier killed in Iraq.

An Associated Press database of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan shows that Hutchison is the oldest member of any service branch killed since the wars broke out.

Hutchison served in Afghanistan for a year before deploying to Iraq in October, heading a 12-soldier team that trained the Iraqi military, his brother said. Later, he was assigned to help secure Iraq's southern border.

Hutchinson, who grew up in California, taught psychology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles on and off between 1988 and 1996, and lectured and taught at two other colleges, according to school records. He then worked at a health care corporation in Arizona before retiring and re-entering the service, his brother said.

He was part of the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan.

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Filed by Stuart Whatley  |