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Minnesota National Guard
Winona native dies in Iraq

A Minnesota National Guard Soldier originally from Winona died while serving in Iraq Sgt Maj Michael Mettille, 44, died Thursday from a non-combat related injury at Camp Adder, according to a National Guard spokesman

The cause of his death is under investigation, according to information released by the National Guard and Department of Defense

Mettille was serving in the Alpha Company of the 134th Brigade Support Battalion

Maj Gen Larry Shellito, the Adjutant General of Minnesota, praised Mettille as a model Soldier with more than 26 years of service

Mettille is the son of Anita and Chuck Mettille of Winona He is the brother of Connie Mettille, Winona State University's volleyball coach

Anita Mettille said she wasn't ready to talk about her son on Friday

Michael Mettille lived in West St Paul, Minn, and is survived by a wife and four children

Mettille joined the guard in 1980 at age 18 after graduating from Cotter High School He earned a computer science degree from Winona State University in 1986

He served in Bosnia in 2003 and was one of about 2,600 Minnesota National Guard troops deployed to Iraq in March 2006

Funeral arrangements were not announced Friday

Mettille is the 44th service member with Minnesota ties to die since the start of the Iraq war in 2003 and the third from the Winona area

Army Sgt Andrew Bossert of Fountain City, Wis, was killed March 7, 2005, when a car exploded at a checkpoint Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Benson, a Winona native, died Aug 10, 2005, of wounds suffered in a suicide bomb attack in Baghdad

By Brian Voerding / Winona Daily News
Source: http://www.winonadailynews.com/articles/2007/02/03/news/00lead.txt

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