Boonton residents in mourning after hometown soldier killed in Iraq

(11/18/04) BOONTON The town of Boonton is in a state of mourning after one of its own was killed in Iraq.

Major Charles Robert Soltes Jr., 36, died when his convoy was struck with an explosive device. Acting Governor Dick Codey ordered all flags in the state flown at half-mast as a tribute to the fallen soldier. Soltess high school alma mater, Morris Catholic High School, will also hold a memorial for its former student Saturday.

Army recruiters are continuing their efforts throughout the state despite the rising death toll in Iraq. A U.S. Army spokesperson says local recruiting has taken a slight dip, but he attributes that in part to the skeptical outlook of the students parents.

Soltes is survived by his wife and two children. His wife is expecting the couples third child.

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