Meridian Native Dies in Iraq

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Spc. Robert Allen McNail, a 32-year-old Meridian native, died in a vehicle accident on Friday, Guard officials said.

The soldier's father, Marvin McNail, told the Associated Press his son was an "outgoing young man who found a way to enjoy whatever he was doing."

Marvin McNail says his son joined the National Guard after serving in the Army because he wanted to continue to serve his country.

McNail was member of the Detachment 1, Company B, 150th Combat Engineer Battalion out of Quitman and news of his death came shortly after the funeral of another Guard soldier.

Sgt. 1st Class Sean Michael Cooley, 35, was killed in Iraq last week when an improvised explosive device exploded near his vehicle. He was buried Sunday in Benndale.

Both soldiers were members of the 150th, which is attached to the 155th Brigade Combat Team. The combat team includes 3,500 soldiers from Mississippi and others from Vermont and Arkansas.

McNail leaves behind a three-year-old son named Edward.