Last updated: August 24. 2013 8:52AM - 186 Views

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   RUSHSYLVANIA — An Ohio Army reservist died in Iraq when driving in the front of an armored convoy that was hit by a bomb Monday, his father said.    Taking the lead on a dangerous mission showed the tenacity and irrepressible nature of Spc. Jeremy Hodge, said his father, Mike Hodge of Rushsylvania, 49 miles northwest of Columbus.    “Of course, for a kid who had had his driver’s license suspended three times before he was 18, he’d be the lead driver in a convoy,” Mike Hodge told The Bellefontaine Examiner.    J e r e m y Hodge, 20, was with the Ohio Army N a t i o n a l Guard 612th E n g i n e e r s Battalion.    He graduated in 2003 from Ridgemont High School, where he was on the baseball, football and track teams. Principal Chad Cunningham described him as always offering to help faculty and fellow students.    Hodge planned to make money for college in the Army, get a degree and maybe go into contracting like his father, but hadn’t really decided yet what he wanted to do, said Mike Hodge, who rehabs houses. The elder Hodge, an Air Force veteran, said they both understood when he enlisted that he’d be going to Iraq.    “He liked what he was doing. He liked being out front,” the father said.    Jeremy Hodge also is survived by his mother, Michelle Norris, of Fredericksburg, Va., and three younger sisters.    The unit, called up last November, was due home by the end of December. Mike Hodge said he wouldn’t know funeral arrangements until the body was returned to the United States.    Father and son last chatted using Internet messages Friday to catch up on family, Mike Hodge said.

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