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300 veterans celebrate birthday of Hamilton boy whose dad died in Iraq

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HAMILTON, Ohio – When Katie Luff asked her son, Aiden Luff, what kind of birthday party her son wanted, he said a party with a military theme. All veterans. Army. Navy. Air Force. Marines. If you served, Aiden wanted you to be invited.

“Veterans are much cooler,” Aiden, 7, said.

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On Nov. 21, 2010, when Aiden was only 5 months old, his father, Sgt. David James Luff Jr., 29, died in Tikrit, Iraq, after insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire, the Department of Defense said.

David Luff joined the Army in July 2004 as a tanker and attended training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Upon completion of training, he was assigned to B Company, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, where he served as a gunner.

In 2006, he was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom for 15 months. In April 2009, he was reassigned to Able Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment “Wolfhounds,” where he served as a driver. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in January of 2010. Seven months later, he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn as a gunner.

 

“He’s very proud of veterans and his father,” Luff, 32, said.

Aiden was 6 weeks old when his father was deployed to Iraq. That was the last time they saw each other.

When Luff’s family and friends started planning the party last week, Luff had no idea how many veterans would accept and invitation to a birthday party for a 7-year-old. She figured about 30 people might show up.

Instead it was 300.

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Aiden rode on the back of the motorcycle of  Perry Davis, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Associates. As they approached the airport, Davis was amazed by the turnout of well-wishers, many of them…

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