Freeman, a fire support specialist, was deployed to Iraq last October in his first tour of duty. He had enlisted in October 2005, Army officials said. Freeman’s military decorations and awards include a National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and Global War on Terror Service Medal. [email protected] (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Antelope Valley High band director Joseph Pincetich said Freeman played the drums in the band for four years. “He was a really great person. He was happy and lively. He always had a smile on his face and laughed a lot. If anything ever got him down, he didn’t let it keep him down for long,” Pincetich recalled. “The fact that he stepped up to defend his country is more admirable than I can possibly express. He should have a special place in our hearts.” Another soldier, Pfc. Derek Gibson,, 20, of Eustis, Fla., was killed along with Freeman, the Pentagon said. Both men were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo. LANCASTER – A 20-year-old soldier from Lancaster was killed last week in Iraq, the second Antelope Valley resident to die in combat within the past month, officials said Tuesday. Pfc. Walter Freeman Jr., who graduated in 2004 from Antelope Valley High School where he was a member of the band, was killed in Baghdad on April 4, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. “He was a really cool kid. He was kind of quiet, very polite, very well-spoken. Just a really great kid,” said Carol Selmser, a neighbor whose children grew up with Freeman. Selmser, who plays the piano for the Antelope Valley High choir, said she used to see Freeman walking to school and would give him a ride.