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Local Soldier, Joseph J. Anzack Jr., Captured in Iraq

by DJ Thursday, May. 17, 2007 at 9:18 AM

The Department of Defense on Tuesday named Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr. - a 2005 graduate of South High in Torrance - as one of three infantrymen missing since their patrol was attacked south of Baghdad.

Local Soldier, Josep...
pfc._joseph_anzack.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x450

Photo Caption: Pfc. Joseph Anzack has been missing since his patrol was attacked south of Baghdad. The news comes only three weeks after the soldier dispelled rumors he had been killed in Iraq. (Family photo)

Local soldier among missing in Iraq
20-year-old Torrance native believed to have been taken hostage in an ambush.
By Shelly Leachman, Staff writer
Article Launched: 05/15/2007 10:34:23 PM PDT

TORRANCE - Only three weeks after a Torrance soldier dispelled rumors that he had been killed in Iraq, his family once again is reeling with bad news.

But this time it's true.

The Department of Defense on Tuesday named Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr. - a 2005 graduate of South High in Torrance - as one of three infantrymen missing since their patrol was attacked south of Baghdad.

"It's a radical coincidence that I can't even fathom," father Joseph Anzack Sr. said. He got word on Sunday, when U.S. Army officials appeared on his doorstep to deliver the news in person.

"I'm not sure where to go from here," he added. "All we can do is wait. We have to wait. There is nothing else we can do."

Part of the noted 10th Mountain Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, the younger Anzack, 20, and his fellow soldiers are believed to have been taken hostage following an ambush Saturday near Mahmoudiya that resulted in the death of four other Americans and an Iraqi translator, according to military officials.

The Pentagon said it believes the men to be in terrorist hands. An al-Qaida-affiliated group called The Islamic State of Iraq has claimed responsibility for the ambush and said it has the missing soldiers.
A massive search by U.S. forces is ongoing.

"It is totally surreal. It's scary," aunt Debbie Anzack, also of Torrance, said of the situation. "We're just in limbo, waiting to hear. And we hope that they find him. Alive."

Learning on Mother's Day that her son was missing, Theresa Anzack of San Pedro described the turn of events as "shocking and unbelievable."

"We're trying to keep an uplifted spirit," she said. "We're not giving up hope or our prayers. It's been an emotional roller coaster."

News started circulating three weeks ago that the former football standout had been killed in Iraq. By the next morning, the gossip had been accepted as gospel.

Students at Anzack's alma mater South High posted, "In Loving Memory, Joseph Anzack, 2005" on the school marquee.

A former coach called his grandmother to find out what happened, leaving her distraught. Friends posted condolence messages on the MySpace page Anzack Sr. started.

The rumor was ultimately dispelled when the soldier himself, located alive and well by American Red Cross workers, phoned home to reassure his family.
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CBS News has a Video Report DJ Thursday, May. 17, 2007 at 9:25 AM
His MYSPACE page DJ Thursday, May. 17, 2007 at 9:28 AM
Daily Breeze Article DJ Thursday, May. 17, 2007 at 9:31 AM
A Soldier's Mom Donna Friday, May. 25, 2007 at 7:21 AM
Our Sons and Daughters Paulette Gilliam Friday, May. 25, 2007 at 7:37 AM
An Army Wife Mary Reed Friday, May. 25, 2007 at 8:26 AM
Grateful Citizen mickie Friday, May. 25, 2007 at 10:13 AM
Grateful? Ungreatful Citizen Friday, May. 25, 2007 at 11:26 AM
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