GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. - A 22-year-old soldier who spent most of his life in Atlantic County before enlisting in the Army last year was killed in Iraq last week, just two months after being sent overseas.

Private Anthony J. Sausto, who was born in Somers Point and later moved to Hamilton Township, was killed Thursday by small-arms fire in Baghdad, relatives told the Press of Atlantic City on Friday.

Sausto completed basic training in May 2006. He was a member of the 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, and was stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash., before going to Iraq in March.

Relatives said Sausto was a shy, quiet youth who "came out of his shell" when he joined the Army 15 months ago. They said he was drawn to the service after years of playing military-theme video games, and had been looking forward to going to Iraq.

Sausto, known as A.J. to his friends, attended Oakcrest High School.