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Fallen  and Missing Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom
 Hall of Heroes
We cherish, too, the poppy red
     That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
Last Updated April 10, 2003  6 P.M. EST
Capt. Tristan N. Aitken, 31, of State College, Pa., was killed in action 4/4/03 in Iraq. Aitken was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
The mother of Army Capt. Tristan Aitken, 31, of State College, Pa., said she and her son clashed on the merits of war in Iraq, but the two always found room for each other's opinions.

"He told me it was his job," Ruth Aitken said. "He thought the protesters should say what they believed, but he had to do what he had to do, too."

She said her son was killed April 4 by a rocket-propelled grenade in an attack that injured at least two other soldiers. The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed the death April 7.

Aitken grew up just blocks away from Pennsylvania State University, where his mother taught for more than a decade before leaving to do private consulting.

Ruth Aitken said her son always did best in a highly structured environment, so she wasn't surprised that he found himself in the Army. "He graduated straight from Boy Scouts and merit badges to ROTC and medals," she said.

Aitken came from a military family - his father spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy Reserves and his younger sister was commissioned as a second lieutenant after completing ROTC.

He served in Korea and in Kosovo, where he was in charge of supply inventory and worked with medical units.
Capt. James F. Adamouski, 29, of Springfield, Va. killed when his UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash in central Iraq on 4/2/03 assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

Army Capt. James Adamouski, 29, of Savannah, Ga., knew that his mother worried about him flying so he frequently reassured her: "I'll be safe, and I'll fly low, and I'll fly fast."

Adamouski and five other members of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, based at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, died April 2 when their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed in central Iraq. Adamouski had more than 1,000 hours logged flying the Black Hawk but wasn't the pilot when the accident occurred.

"I wanted him in tanks," Judy Adamouski said. "But he'd always tell me, 'Mom, the Black Hawk is the safest helicopter the Army has.'"

Adamouski, a native of Springfield, Va., was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., where he played soccer. He was so good that he played for a semi-professional team when he was stationed in Germany.

"Anything with a ball he loved," said Meighan Adamouski, his wife of seven months. "He drove me nuts watching sports, but he let me watch the Home and Garden Network. He was great that way. I used to ask God why I was so lucky to have been given such a great husband."

Adamouski had just been accepted to Harvard Business School and planned to teach economics at West Point after earning a master's degree in business administration.

"What his West Point buddies told us is that Jimmy died the way they wanted to die," his father said. "He died in a blaze of glory, and he's an American hero."
Navy Lt. Thomas Mullen Adams, 27, of La Mesa, Calif. Killed when two Royal Navy Sea King helicopters collided over international waters March 22. Assigned as an exchange officer with the Royal Navy's 849 Squadron since October 2002.
Lt. Thomas Mullen Adams, 27, of La Mesa, Calif. was killed in a collision of two British helicopters on March 22, 2003.

Adams had been assigned as an exchange officer with the Royal Navy's 849 Squadron since October. Six British troops aboard the Royal Navy helicopters also died in the crash.

Adams' parents, who were visiting a daughter in Germany, were informed of their son's death in a phone call from neighbor Dianne Micklish. It was "the worst news anybody could ever share," Micklish said.

"How do you tell somebody their only son, one they're so proud of ..." she said, her voice trailing off. "They were so proud of his accomplishments, and they were so scared when they knew he was going to go over there. How do you do that?"

Neighbor Mary Frasure remembered Adams as "an adorable boy. Just darling
Corporal Stephen John Allbutt, from Stoke-on-Trent Killed when his tank was struck by a shell from another British tank on March 25, 2003
Lance Cpl. Brian E. Anderson, 26, of Durham, N.C., was killed April 2 in a non-hostile accident west of An Nasiriyah, Iraq. Anderson was manning a .50 caliber rifle on top of a 7-ton truck when the vehicle passed under and apparently snagged low hanging power lines. He was assigned to the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C. The incident is under investigation.
The job given to Marine Lance Cpl. Brian Anderson, 26, was administrative clerk, so he often marveled that he was on the front lines of the war.

He was assigned to the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division just before it was deployed in mid-January. When the unit crossed into Iraq, he was one of the first to throw water to the waiting children, colleagues said.

"I remember the first day he came to us, he was so excited to go," said 1st Sgt. Michael Sprague, 36, of White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. "He was so much fun to be around, that kid."

Anderson, who was out of Camp Lejeune, was also known for his love of playing dominoes.

Anderson died near Nasiriyah, Iraq, on April 2, while manning a .50-caliber rifle on top of a seven-ton truck. He was apparently electrocuted when he tried to lift a low-hanging power line over the gun and his head, officials said.
Spc. Jamaal R. Addison, 22, of Roswell, Ga. Killed when ambushed by enemy forces in Iraq March 23. Assigned to the 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company, Fort Bliss, Texas.
Army Spc. Jamaal R. Addison, 22, of Roswell, Ga., was killed in action in Iraq. His unit, the Army's 507th Maintenance Company, wasn't expected to see combat, but it was ambushed by Iraqi forces March 23.

Two days before the war began, Addison spoke with his mother and relatives in Covington, Ga.

"He didn't want to get off the telephone, he just wanted to hold on to that conversation as long as possible," said family pastor, the Rev. Julius Kidd.

Relatives fondly described Addison as the family's computer guru. His enlistment in the military came as a surprise to his ROTC instructors at Lakeside High School in Atlanta, where he graduated in 1998.

"I had no idea he was going into the Army," said Lt. Col. Sydney Sider, 58, a senior Air Force ROTC instructor at Lakeside High. "The last talk we had was that he was going to college."

But Sider added that Addison had the strength and character to be successful in the military.

"He was a very nice young man ... and a very good student," Sider said. "He was good in ROTC. I just wish I had him a little longer."

Kevin Addison of Decatur, said he had been notified by military authorities of his son's death. He declined to say more.

Sharon Addison, who was married to Addison's father for eight years and helped raise his son, said the young man was a joy.

"He had a very gentle spirit. He grew up in the church. He always looked out for his (two) sisters. Jamaal was one of the sweetest young men I've known," she said.

Addison is survived by his wife, a 2-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter.

U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said March 26 that the 507th Maintenance Company ran into a heavily armed Iraqi combat unit that included two tanks and automatic weapons when it made the wrong turn near An Nasiriyah
Maj. Jay Thomas Aubin, 36, of Waterville, Maine. Killed in a CH-46E helicopter crash on March 20 in Kuwait. Assigned to the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Ariz.
Maj. Jay Thomas Aubin, 36, of Waterville, Maine, was the pilot of the first helicopter that crashed in the war, killing 12 U.S. and British Marines in the Kuwaiti desert.

In his second stint with the Marines, Aubin was from a unit based in Yuma, Ariz., and was promoted posthumously to the rank of major.

Aubin's mother, Nancy Chamberlain, said her son enlisted in the Marines and served four years before leaving for college. After he attended the University of Southern Maine, the Marines contacted him to see if he was interested in rejoining.

"To be a pilot that's all he really wanted to do," said Aubin's cousin, Colby Willett, 24, of Portland, Maine. "He was a lifer and he really believed in everything he was doing over there."

As talk of war began, Aubin knew he would probably be among the first to enter combat, according to his father, Tom, and stepmother, who live in the central Texas town of Bangs. He asked his stepmother to protect his father, who has a bad heart.

"He told me this summer, 'Don't tell this to dad, but if something starts up, I'll be right in the thick of it'," Carol Aubin said.

Jay Aubin was married and had a daughter, 10, and a son, 7.
Spc. Mathew G. Boule, 22, of Dracut, Mass. killed when his UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash in central Iraq on 4/2/03, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

After a childhood playing paintball in the back yard and soccer and hockey in high school, Mathew Boule, 22, wasn't sure what to do with his life. After talking it over with his father, Leo, a former Marine, he signed up for the Army.

"He loved his work and he loved his birds," his mother, Sue Boule, said. "I went to visit him in Georgia last July and he showed me his bird - that's what he called his Black Hawk. He was so proud of it. He was so proud he made crew chief. Some day he wanted to fly them."

He and five other soldiers died when their helicopter crashed during a firefight in Iraq on April 2. He was assigned to the Army's 3rd Infantry Division based at Fort Stewart, Ga.

Boule, the youngest of four children, was not married and did not have children, but he adored his nine nieces and nephews, his mother said. He was thinking of them when he last talked to his parents in February.
Gunnery Sgt. Jeffrey E. Bohr, Jr., 39, of Ossian, Iowa, who was killed on April 10 in northern Baghdad while engaging enemy forces. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Camp Pendleton, Calif

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jeff Bohr was a dedicated Marine who was ready to go to war, his father said.

"Jeff wouldn't have had it any other way," said Eddie Bohr.

Bohr, 39, a native of Ossian, Iowa, died in combat April 10.

Bohr, who finished several marathons and ran 10 miles a day, spent a few years in the Army before joining the Marines. He was an instructor at Camp Pendleton before heading to Iraq in January and he lived with his wife, Lori, in San Clemente, Calif.

Eddie Bohr got a few letters from his son during his tour in Iraq. The final letter arrived just hours before Marines came to tell Bohr that his son was killed. In the letter, mailed about two weeks ago, Jeff Bohr said he had just been through a sand storm and battle in the desert.
Sgt. George E. Buggs, 31, of Barnwell, S.C. Buggs was with the 3rd Division Support Battalion, Fort Stewart, Ga in a convoy that was ambushed March 23 in Iraq.
Sgt. George E. Buggs, 31, of Barnwell, S.C. was one of eight soldiers found dead during the rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch, who was being held captive.

Lynch's unit, the Fort Bliss, Texas-based 507th Maintenance Company was ambushed near Nasiriyah on March 23. The unit was on a supply mission.

Barnwell was part of the 3rd Division Support Battalion of Fort Stewart, Ga.

"We hate it, but there ain't nothing we can do about it," Buggs' grandfather, George Buggs, 83, said Saturday after learning of his grandson's death. The retired truck driver and his wife had raised the soldier.
ARMY CASUALTY The Department of Defense announced today that Spc. Larry K. Brown, 22, of Jackson, Miss., was killed in action on April 5, 2003, in Iraq. Brown was assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, Fort Riley, Kan. Army Spc. Larry K. Brown, 22, of Jackson, Miss., a graduate of Bailey Magnet High School in Jackson, was killed April 5 in fighting in Iraq, the U.S. Department of Defense said Tuesday.

Brown was assigned to the Army's C Company, 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment of Fort Riley, Kan. He joined the Army on Oct. 19, 2000, and had been stationed at Fort Riley as an infantryman since April, 20, 2001.

Bailey principal Dorothy Terry said Brown has a sister, 15-year-old Lakeidra, in the 10th grade at the high school. She said the soldier's younger brother, Nicholas, graduated in 1999.

"We hate that this has happened," Terry said. "It was just a tragic loss for us and his family."

Terry said Brown played basketball, baseball and ran track.

"He was fairly quiet. He was also a kind of funny guy when he wanted to be, but for the most part he was a real serious young man," Terry said.

Sykes said she was called by Brown's mother on April 7 and told of the soldier's death. She said the family had not been given specifics about what happened, but "they are waiting for some people to come in and talk with them."
Capt. Ryan Anthony Beaupre, 30, of Bloomington, Ill. Killed in a CH-46E helicopter crash on March 20 in Kuwait. Assigned to the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Capt. Ryan Anthony Beaupre of Bloomington, Ill., a 30-year-old Marine with an unruly shock of red hair, always wanted to fly, according to his sister, Alyse Beaupre, 31.

Nevertheless, Illinois Wesleyan University Registrar Jack Fields said he was surprised when the young man joined the Marines after graduation from college. He had been stationed in Camp Pendleton, Calif.

"The image that comes to mind is from 'The Andy Griffith Show,' and Opie walking down the road with a fishing pole," he said.

Beaupre was a member of the Roman Catholic Church in St. Anne's, about 60 miles south of Chicago.

An early casualty, he was among 12 British and U.S. Marines who crashed in a helicopter in the Kuwaiti desert.
Pfc. Tamario D. Burkett, 21, of Buffalo, N.Y. assigned to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, based in Camp Lejeune, NC. They were engaged in operations on the outskirts of An Nasiriyah on 23 March killed in action. The oldest of seven children, Tamario D. Burkett was a poet, an artist and a big brother who asked his mother whether God would forgive him if he had to kill someone in combat.

His letters home included special notes for each of his six younger siblings, ages 1 to 18. He wrote that Katrina, 15, should stay away from boys and 18-year-old Raymond should focus on school.

Burkett, 21, of Buffalo, N.Y., and based at Camp Lejeune, was killed in combat March 23.

His parents say Burkett surprised them with his decision to join the Marines after talking to a recruiter at school one day.

As he prepared for combat, Burkett didn't worry about his own safety, his mother said.

"He said, 'Ma, God is going to forgive me if I kill someone over there?"' she said. "I said, 'Yes, you're doing what you have to do.'"
Lance Corporal Shaun Andrew Brierley, 212 Signal Squadron, 1(UK) Armoured Division HQ & Signal Regiment, based in Herford. A soldier was killed in a road traffic accident in Kuwait on 30 March
Sgt. Michael E. Bitz, 31, of Ventura, Calif. Killed in action March 23 in the vicinity of Nasiriyah. Assigned to the 2nd Assault Amphibious Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C. Sgt. Michael E. Bitz was a father of four, especially eager to see his youngest children, twins born a month after he was sent overseas. He was killed in action March 23 near An Nasiriyah, Iraq.

The 31-year-old from Ventura, Calif., was assigned to the 2nd Assault Amphibious Battalion, 2nd Marine Division.

Bitz joined the Marines in 1995 at the urging of his mother, who said her son drifted from job to job after graduating from Hueneme High School.

"He loved the service. He found direction and purpose in his life," Donna Bellman said.

His wife, Janina, gave birth to twins last month, weeks after her husband received his orders. He had two other children, ages 2 and 7.

"I had this terrible feeling since he shipped out in January," Bellman said. "I kept trying to picture a white bubble around him to keep him safe. But it didn't work."
Lance Cpl. Brian Rory Buesing, 20, of Cedar Key, Fla. Killed in action March 23 in the vicinity of Nasiriyah. Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Some students at Cedar Key School went home early after hearing that Lance Cpl. Brian Rory Buesing, a 2000 graduate, was killed in combat March 23 near An Nasiriyah.

Buesing, 20, of Cedar Key, Fla., was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

"He was full of energy in life, he always had a smile on his face," said Angie Doty, who works in the guidance office at Cedar Key School.

Buesing's eighth-grade sister still attends the 300-student, K-12 school about 100 miles north of St. Petersburg, Doty said.

"We are just completely devastated," said Sandra Cunch, his grandmother. "He was the love of our lives."
Cpl. Henry L. Brown, 22, of Natchez, Miss., Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 64th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Stewart, Ga. Brown died of wounds received in action on April 8, 2003. Brown died on April 8. Those who knew him say Cpl. Henry L. Brown, 22, of Natchez, Miss., was a family man, a man of faith.

Brown died in Iraq early April 8, said his mother, Rhonda James-Brown. She said military officials did not immediately disclose the circumstances of her son's death.

Brown was part of the Army's 2nd Brigade Command Group.

"Next to my mother, he was my best friend," said James-Brown, whose own mother died six months ago. "Now he's in heaven with her and they're both watching over me."

Brown graduated from Natchez High School, where he was a member of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps. He taught Sunday school at Greater New Bethel Missionary Church.

Brown was married less than a year ago to Army Spc. JoDona Brown, who is also stationed in the Middle East. She is now making her way back home, his mother said.

Frank Woods Jr. described Brown, one of his best friends, as a person of deep faith: "He was a family-oriented person, a person of religious background, someone you could always depend on. If he had it, it was yours."
Lance Cpl. Thomas A. Blair, 24, of Wagoner, Okla.killed in action. He was assigned to the 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, Marine Air Control Group-28, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Cherry Point, N.C. His unit was engaged in operations on March 24 on the outskirts of An Nasiriyah in Iraq. His remains were recovered on March 28. Lance Cpl. Thomas A. Blair, 24, a Marine from Broken Arrow, Okla., who disappeared during fighting on the outskirts of An Nasiriyah, Iraq, March 23, has been officially listed as killed in action.

Blair was assigned to the 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, Marine Air Control Group 28, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing in Cherry Point, N.C.

He joined the Marine Corps in 1997, the same year he graduated from high school in Broken Arrow, a sprawling Tulsa suburb with a strong military commitment. Of about 1,000 students in Blair's class at Broken Arrow High School, about 30 are active in the military.

Blair returned to the United States in October after a two-year deployment in Okinawa, Japan. Blair left for the Persian Gulf on Jan. 10.

Teachers at Broken Arrow High School remembered Blair as a disciplined and tenacious student who played drums in the high school band. Blair used to practice his drums so much his ninth-grade instructor, Darrin Davis, had to kick him out of the band room at the end of the day.

His older brother, Alfred Blair, is a Marine staff sergeant who hasn't been deployed to Iraq. Their mother, Nancy Blair, lives outside Broken Arrow.
Pfc. Wilfred D. Bellard, 20, 41st Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Stewart, Ga., of Lake Charles, La. killed when his vehicle fell into a ravine on April 4, 2003, in Iraq Army Pfc. Wilfred D. Bellard, 20, of Lake Charles, La., was proud to be in the military and ready to fight in Iraq.

Bellard, with the Army 41st Field Artillery Regiment from Fort Stewart, Ga., died April 6 when the vehicle he was riding in fell into an Iraqi ravine.

"My son was proud of his job in the military. He told me he loved it and was ready to go to Iraq and get the job done. To me, my son is a hero," said his mother, Janet Brooks.

Bellard, who was named after his grandfather, graduated from high school in Georgia. Before that, he lived in Lake Charles, attending Lake Charles-Boston High School. His family traveled all over the country, according to his mother.

"To me, all of those guys are heroes, both the living and the dead," Brooks said
Pfc. Chad E. Bales, 20, of Coahoma, Texas, was killed on April 3 in a non-hostile vehicle accident during convoy operations east of Ash Shahin, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Transportation Support Battalion, 1st Force Service Support Group, Camp Pendleton, Calif. The accident is under investigation. Marine Pfc. Chad E. Bales was happy-go-lucky, popular and responsible.

"Chad was the type of man who did whatever needed to be done," said Billy-Bob Walker, a former teammate on the Coahoma High School football team. "He never complained and always pulled his share."

Bales died recently in Iraq. The Marine's stepfather, John Wayne Metcalf, said relatives were notified, but there was no word on what happened.

"We want to tell everybody how proud of him we were and how proud of him we still are," Metcalf told the Big Spring Herald. "We can't quit praying for our troops. We need to press on and continue to support them and welcome them home."

Bales had been stationed in Camp Pendleton, Calif., and was deployed to Kuwait and then Iraq with the C556-11 Transportation Company, according to the Coahoma school district Web site.

Bales' death hit hard in Coahoma, a town of 1,000 about 250 miles west of Dallas.

"We have a lot of absences. We have some teachers and students here not going at full speed because of the news. It's pretty subdued," said Frank Riney, principal of Coahoma High.
Spc. Daniel Francis J. Cunningham, 33, 41st Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Stewart, Ga., of Lewiston, Maine. killed when his vehicle fell into a ravine on April 4, 2003, in Iraq Army Spc. Daniel Francis J. Cunningham, 33, of Lewiston, Maine, learned about loving his country from his late father, a proud Marine.

"He was definitely proud of what he was doing. He didn't have any hesitation on going," said his brother, James Cunningham. "My dad fought in Vietnam, so he was more than willing. He knew about patriotism."

Cunningham and two other members of the 41st Field Artillery Regiment died April 4 when their vehicle veered into a ravine.

"I know he was inside Baghdad," James Cunningham said. "They were, from what we were told, bringing ammunition to the front and they were on the way back."

Cunningham, the oldest of three boys, was born in Lewiston and grew up in the area. He managed restaurants before joining the Army more than three years ago.

He was based in Fort Stewart, Ga., and had been in the Middle East since February, his brother said. Cunningham's wife, Heather, and their son, Conor, 10, live in Revere, Mass.

In a letter to his mother dated March 8, Cunningham showed his usual good nature and sense of humor.

"He wanted some Pepsi, baby wipes and cigarettes. He just said it was hot. He went into some details about the bugs and lizards they have over there," James Cunningham said. "His spirits were up, talking about sand in his ears and how he had enough to build a palace."
Spc. Michael Edward Curtin, 23, of South Plains, N.J. He was assigned to the 2-7th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga. March 29th car-bomb incident and killed in action. Cpl. Michael Curtin, 21, of Howell, N.J., of the Army's 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, was among four U.S. soldiers killed March 29 in the suicide bomber attack on an Army checkpoint north of the Iraqi city of Najaf.

A taxi stopped close to a roadblock the morning of March 29 and the driver waved for help. When soldiers from approached the car, it exploded, killing the driver, Curtin and three other soldiers from Curtin's division, Army officials said.

The parents, Michael and Joan Curtin, requested their privacy but released a statement:

"He was fighting for our freedom, which we should never take for granted. He was a hero in our eyes. Our hearts and prayers go out to the other servicemen who were killed and their families," the statement said.

The Howell High School graduate joined the Army in May 2001 and went through basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., where he also graduated from the Army's paratrooper training school. He was deployed to Kuwait on Jan. 25.
Lance Cpl. Donald J. Cline, Jr., 21, of Sparks, Nev. assigned to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, based in Camp Lejeune, NC. They were engaged in operations on the outskirts of An Nasiriyah on 23 March killed in action.
Capt. Aaron J. Contreras, 31, of Sherwood, Ore., was killed on March 30 in a UH-1N Huey helicopter crash in Southern Iraq. He was assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA)-169, Marine Aircraft Group-39, Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, Calif. Marine Capt. Aaron J. Contreras, 31, of Sherwood, Ore., was born on the 4th of July.

He was assigned to the Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169, Marine Aircraft Group 39, at Camp Pendleton, Calif. He and two other servicemen were killed March 30 when their UH-1 Huey crashed in Iraq.

Contreras and his wife, Janelle, had three children, one boy and two girls, said Edward Contreras, the soldier's father.

Edward Contreras said his son - one of five brothers - was born in San Jose, Calif., and the family moved to suburban Portland in 1979. Aaron played football, basketball and baseball at Sherwood High School and later graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz., before joining the Marines.

Edward Contreras, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Marines, said his son was devoted to Catholicism. Tom McCarthy, a priest at Sherwood's St. Francis Catholic Church, remembered Aaron Contreras as a religious man who could talk extensively about faith and the Bible.

"He was a very spiritual young man and very athletic, a hard worker, a great achiever," McCarthy said. "It was that refinement of his spirit I knew best."
Staff Sgt. James W. Cawley, 41, of Roy, Utah, was killed on March 29 during a firefight with enemy forces. He was assigned to F Company, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Colour Sergeant John Cecil RM  Killed in a U.S. CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter crash south of the Kuwait border on March 21, 2003
2nd Lt. Therrel S. Childers, 30, of Harrison County, Miss. Killed in action on March 21 in southern Iraq. Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Trooper David Jeffrey Clarke, from Littleworth, Staffordshire Killed when his tank was struck by a shell from another British tank on March 25, 2003
April 16, 2003 The Department of Defense announced today that Marine Cpl. Kemaphoom A. Chanawongse, 22, of Waterford, Conn. was killed in action during operations on the outskirts of An Nasiriyah on March 23. He had previously been listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN). Chanawongse was assigned to 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Staff Sgt. Wilbert Davis, 40, of Alaska, was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga. who died 4/3/03 when his vehicle ran off the road into a canal in Iraq.
Master Sgt. Robert J. Dowdy, 38, of Cleveland, Ohio. 507th Maintenance Company, Fort Bliss, Texas killed in action in a convoy that was ambushed March 23 in Iraq.
Cpl. Mark A. Evnin, 21, of Burlington, Vt., was killed in action on April 3 during a firefight in Central Iraq. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Twentynine Palms, Calif.
Lance Bombardier Llywelyn Karl Evans Killed in a U.S. CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter crash south of the Kuwait border on March 21, 2003


 In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Last Updated April 10, 2003  6 P.M. EST