Bacilio E. Cuellar of Odessa was killed Wednesday by an IED. Cuellar is the second Odessa soldier to die in the last two weeks, and the third area solider to be killed since late April.

For the second time in as many weeks, the community of Odessa is mourning the death of a soldier in Iraq.

Friday, the U.S. Department of Defense, on its Web site, announced Sgt. Bacilio E. Cuellar of Odessa was one of three Army soldiers who died Wednesday in Baghdad when their vehicle was struck an improvised explosive device.

The 24-year-old Cuellar and the men who died with him, Spc. James E. Lundin, 20, of Bellport, N.Y., and Pfc. Joshua M. Moore, 20, of Russellville, Ky., were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division in Schweinfurt, Germany, the Defense Department said.

Cuellar is the Basin's 10th soldier to die serving their country in either Iraq or Afghanistan since coalition forces invaded those countries after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. in 2001.

Cuellar, a 2000 Permian High School graduate, is the third to die since late April. Cpl. Ray Bevel of Andrews and Army Staff Sgt. Kristopher Allen Higdon of Odessa also were killed in Iraq. All three were reportedly killed by roadside bombs.

Higdon, 25, and a 1999 graduate of Permian, had been overseas on his second tour of duty for about six weeks when he died May 22, his family members said. His funeral is scheduled for this morning in Temple with a caravan to Killeen and military burial to follow at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery.

Bevel, 22, was killed April 21 in Baghdad by an IED while on an unmotorized patrol, his father, Jerry Bevel, said.

According to Cuellar's page on MySpace.com, he and his wife Nicole have two children, Cayden and Jeremy. Cuellar also has another son, Sebastian Cole.

His mother, Lori, who reportedly lives in San Antonio, offered this on her son's page:

"To all of you who Love Bacilio and know him: I am Bozzy's Mom, I was greeted at my door on May 30th at 18:10 p.m. by representatives of the U.S. Army, a chaplain and a grievance officer. They came in and sat Shauna (Bozzy's sister) and I down. The major got down on his knee to be eye level with us and said these words 'Ma'am, as a representative of the U.S. Army, I and the U.S. Army regret to inform you that this day May 30th at 14:46 Iraq time your son was on patrol and his vehicle was struck by an 'IED' ma'am, Sgt. Bacilio Cuellar did not survive.'

"Sitting here typing this so you all know what has happened and that what you are hearing is not a rumor. I am still in disbelief, Bacilio is an awesome man, father of three incredible boys, husband to beautiful Nicki, brother and man what a son, there are not enough words to express our sorrow and grief. I LOVE YOU FOREVER, LIKE YOU FOR ALWAYS, AS LONG AS I'M LIVING, MY BABY YOU'LL BE! I miss you terribly Bacilio, I love you baby."