Pender High School Grad killed in Iraq

25-year-old Mark Bibby was a patriot long before he joined the military.  He was a Pender High School Patriot, playing on the school basketball and football teams, and serving as senior class president in 1996.  Bibby was killed Monday in Iraq when a roadside bomb exploded as his convoy passed in Baghdad.

Pender High Athletic Director, William Rivenbark, describes Bibby as an outstanding individual who was like a son.  He and other former students say Bibby was always smiling, outgoing, and a genuinely nice person.

Bibby's sophomore year at North Carolina A&T was interrupted in January when he was called to active duty in the Army Reserves.  Before shipping off to Iraq, Bibby revisited his friends at Pender High one final time.

Bibby's family lives in Watha.  They were expecting his return from Iraq soon.  There's no word yet on when a memorial service or funeral might be held.