Veteran Profiles

Elijah Wong


Elijah Tai Wah Wong, of Mesa, Ariz., was inexperienced in war but he could hardly wait to join the one in Iraq. "I used to joke with him about having gun powder in his blood," said his wife, Lizeth Wong. The son of a Chinese father and a Jewish mother, Wong lived in Israel as a teenager and served a stint in the Israeli Army. After returning home, Wong enlisted in the Arizona Guard's 363rd Explosive Ordnance Company and rose to the rank of sergeant. Between drills, he worked as a probation officer for Maricopa County. By early 2004, Wong's skills as a bomb disposal expert were badly needed in Iraq. The deadly improvised explosive device had become the enemy's weapon of choice. In the final weeks before his deployment, Wong spent a great deal of time with his son. They were "like two drops of water," his wife said poetically. Once in Iraq, Wong

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