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Army Pfc. Michael K. Oremus

It was Michael K. Oremus’ nature to never give in — on the soccer field or in life.”He wasn’t big by any means. He was rather small. But he never backed down from anybody,” said Jamal Lis-Simmons, a former teammate. “He always worked hard on the field.”Oremus, 21, of Highland, N.Y., was killed Oct. 2 by small-arms fire in Baghdad. He was assigned to Seoul.Oremus was a 2002 high school graduate and played both soccer and tennis. He later attended Dutchess County Community College, where he was a member of the soccer team.Among the things his former soccer coach, Peter Harris, warmly remembers is the perpetual smile on Oremus’ face. He said he was grateful to have coached and befriended “such a talented, kind and giving person.”He is survived by his mother, Madeline Oremus-Palmese, and stepfather, Daniel Palmese. His father died in 1995.The first game after his death, the Highland High School soccer team dedicate the match game to Oremus, and the team responded, beating Rondout Valley, 5-2.”We kind of played better soccer than we’ve played all year,” Lis-Simmons said.