Military News

Idahoan killed in Iraq inspired classmates

BUHL — An Idaho soldier killed in Iraq is being remembered for his ability to inspire his classmates at Buhl High School.

Spc. James Lee Bridges, 22, of Buhl was killed Saturday by enemy small-arms fire while on patrol in Baghdad, according to a press release from the Army's Fort Wainwright in Alaska. Bridges was an infantryman assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Fort Wainwright.

In high school, he was known as "Doug."

"He was one of my favorite students to have gone through the school," Shane Stockham, adviser to the Future Farmers of America, told The Times-News. "Doug was the kid that others went to when they had a bad day. He was an excellent student."

"This is extremely sad," said Principal Mike Gemar. "He was well-liked by other students. James was a really pleasant kid."

Bridges is at least the 18th person from Idaho to be killed in Iraq since the United States invaded in March 2003.