Family: Meridian soldier wonderful, outgoing man

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Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013 6:36 pm | Updated: 9:27 pm, Mon May 6, 2013.

Spc. Thomas Paige Murach of Meridian is among the five Fort Bliss soldiers killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan over the weekend.

Murach, 22, was with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss.

An Army statement Monday identified the dead as Murach, Spc. Kevin Cardoza of Mercedes, Texas; 1st Lt. Brandon James Landrum of Lawton, Okla.; Staff Sgt. Francis Gene Phillips IV of Meridian, N.Y.; and 24-year-old Spc. Brandon Joseph Prescott of Bend, Ore.

“Tom was a wonderful, outgoing man who lived his life to the fullest. He was very gregarious and kind, and was always quick with a laugh and a smile for friends and acquaintances alike. We couldn’t imagine that anybody could meet him and not like him,” Murach's family said in a statement.

Murach's family said he loved being an Army infantryman and never complained about the difficulty of his duties. Murach leaves behind his mother Mary, father Chet, brothers Nick, William and Mike along with many aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family.

In another incident, a 30-year-old soldier from San Antonio died Wednesday after an April 27 roadside bombing in Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. Michael H. Simpson died at the military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. He served with 4th Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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