A soldier from northwest Iowa has been killed while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Nineteen-year-old Brian Botello of Alta, serving with the Army in Iraq, was killed in Baghdad on Sunday. The Department of Defense says Private First Class Botello, along with 29-year-old Staff Sergeant Jay Martin of Baltimore and 21-year-old Sergeant Alexander Funcheon of Bel Aire, Kansas, died of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their unit during combat operations.
They were assigned to the Third Squadron, 61St. Cavalry Regiment, Second Brigade Combant Team, Second Infantry Division, based at Fort Carson, Colorado. Botello was the son of Karen Brophy of Alta and a 2005 graduate of the Alta High School. He was single and a member of Summit Evangelical Free Church in Alta. He joined the Army in July 2005 and served as a cavalry scout. Botello had been in Iraq since early October.