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Byline: Sheila B. Lalwani
Jan. 5--RACINE -- For months, Naomi Jacob eagerly anticipated the return of her boyfriend, Army Pvt. Evan Bixler.
They talked on the phone, text-messaged each other often and traded e-mails. For Christmas, he sent her a pair of neon green pajamas as a present. Slowly, they started to talk about marriage.
Then, Jacob heard that Bixler had been killed in Iraq.
"It's very hard for her," friend Carolyn Haman of Mount Pleasant said Thursday. "At that age, death is a really difficult thing to handle, especially when you lose the love of your life."
Jacob forced smiles and gave and received hugs Thursday as …