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With joyful shouts, Afghanistan veteran tells entire neighborhood Bin Laden is dead

May 2, 2011 | 12:16 am

John Maldonado ran out in front of his town home in Sonoma, Calif., running up and down a busy street, yelling to his neighbors that Osama Bin Laden had been killed.

Maldonado had served in the Army with Staff Sgt. Michael Cardenaz of Corona, with whom he became close friends. Maldonado left the military in 2004.

Photo gallery: Reactions to Osama bin Laden death

Cardenaz remained in the service and was killed Feb. 20, 2010 at age 29 by enemy fire -- rocket-propelled grenades -- in Kuar, Afghanistan, after also serving two tours in Iraq.

"I'm outside of my skin with joy," Maldonado said Sunday night. Cardenaz's family had been calling and texting Maldonado as well. "We know it's not going to bring Michael back, but we're ecstatic."

"It gives me peace that Michael did not die for nothing: Mission Acccomplished!" Maldonado texted to The Times later in the evening. "I heard it was a Mexican-American who killed him, something Michael would have been proud of."

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-- Sam Quinones

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