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FORT HOOD, Texas -- Soldiers and leaders from 2nd Brigade Combat Team "Black Jack," 1st Cavalry Division, gathered to mourn the loss of Spc. Michael Bailey at a memorial service held in his honor here Tuesday.

Bailey died Dec. 29, 2011.

Bailey was born Sept. 19, 1985, in Flint, Mich., and entered active duty Aug. 7, 2008, at Fort Jackson, S.C., where he completed initial entry training. Bailey then went on to advanced individual training for the automated logistical specialist military occupation specialty at Fort Lee, Va., and graduated March 8, 2009.

Upon completion of AIT, Bailey was stationed with Charlie Company, 304th Signal Battalion in Camp Stanley, Korea. After a year in Korea, Bailey moved to Fort Hood where he became a member of Delta Forward Support Company, 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. Bailey deployed with Delta FSC to Iraq in May of 2011 in support of Operation New Dawn.

"Bailey was a well-respected man by many and he will never be forgotten, but truly missed," said Spc. McKenzie Henderson, a close friend of Bailey.

"He was a father and a son, we knew him as a friend and a Soldier," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Nicholas Johnson. "Any task he was given, we could count on it being completed to standard quickly."

"He bonded with everyone in the shop immediately," continued Johnson. "Michael will forever be missed; he is irreplaceable, but I know in time I will meet Michael again."

"I would like to remember and honor the happy young man that always greeted people with his smile and big blue eyes," said Capt. Jennifer Dennis, Bailey's former commander. "He was a light that shined throughout the company. He was a gifted Soldier that was loved and respected by his peers. He served his country well and was proud to do so."

Bailey's military awards include the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

Bailey is survived by his mother, Kimberlee Steiner-Francisco; father, Michael H. Bailey; wife, Breanna Bailey; and son, Trenton Bailey.