Army general who commanded in Iraq dies of cancer at age 67

Army general who commanded in Iraq dies of cancer at age 67
Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: Retired Army general who commanded American and coalition forces in Iraq, Raymond T. Odierno, has died, his family said Saturday. He was 67. He commanded the US and coalition troops in Iraq at the height of the war and capped a 39-year career by serving as the Army’s chief of staff.

A family statement said that he died after a brave battle with cancer; his death wasn’t related to Covid-19. His family did not share more details at this moment and said ‘they are grateful for the concern and asks for privacy.”

The retired army general died Friday; the family declined to say where. The family said funeral and interment information wasn’t yet available.

US President Joe Biden lauded Odierno as a “hero of great integrity and honor.” The president and First Lady Jill Biden in a joint statement, recalled that Odierno spoke at the funeral of their son Beau Biden, who served under the army general in Iraq and died of brain cancer in 2015.

The Bidens said: “Ray was a giant in military circles — dedicated first and always to the service members he commanded and served alongside,” adding that Odierno and his wife Linda were advocates for military children and families.

As a cadet, Odierno played football at West Point and retained a lifelong interest in the sport. On Saturday evening, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth wrote on Twitter that Odierno embodied the values of West Point and of the Army itself.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who succeeded Odierno as the top overall commander in Iraq in 2010, called him a confidant, a friend and a powerful example.

Austin said in a statement: “Ray was known for his loyalty — to mission and to his people. He cared deeply about the troops who knew him as ‘General O,’ and he and Linda looked after the families of those troops as if they were their own.”

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