U.S. Soldiers Who Died in Iraq


The following is a list of military personnel who have died in Iraq since the beginning of hostilities in March, compiled from various published reports.

Marine Lance Cpl. Thomas Blair, 24, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Graduated high school and joined Marines.

Army Spc. Gregory P. Sanders, 19, Hobart, Indiana. Son of a navy sailor, always wanted to join the army.

Army Spc. Jamaal R Addison, 22, of Roswell, Georgia. Postal worker’s son. Atlanta high school graduate who wanted to get ahead in life. Father said his son “realized he had obligations in life, but he wasn’t a fighter.”

Marine Cpl. Brian Rory Buesing, 20, of Cedar Key, Florida. Had less than a year left of a four-year term, after which he planned to use the $30,000 he would receive to attend university in Florida.

Army Pfc. Howard Johnson, II, 21, of Mobile, Alabama. Son of a minister who opposed the war in Iraq. Joined army as a means of receiving computer training without the expense of technical school.

Marine Staff Sgt. James Cawley, 41, Utah: Marine reservist and Salt Lake City police detective. He came from a military family.

Army Cpl. Michael, 21, Curtin, New Jersey. Graduate of local high school.

Army Pfc. Diego Fernando Ricon, 19, of Conyers, Georgia. Born in Colombia, moved to U.S. aged five. Attended Atlanta-area high school, where he loved gym and drama.

Army Pfc. Michael Russell Creighton-Weldon, 20, of Palm Bay, Florida. His mother was in the army. She described him as tough—the “man of the house” and “strength of the household”—after her divorce. Drove a truck before joining up.

Marine Lance Cpl. William W. White, 24, of Brooklyn. Raised in Brooklyn in a small family of Honduran immigrants. Shared a house in Bushwick with his mother and two brothers. According to friends joined military as a way “to step up in life.” Wanted to become firefighter or join law enforcement.

Army Sgt. Eugene Williams, 24, of Highland New York. Attended local high school, played football. Has one three-year-old and his wife is pregnant. Family struggling to cope financially so community members have created a fund for them to help with funeral expenses.

Army Sgt. Roderic A. Solomon, 32, of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Born into a military family. Joined army after high school to see what it was like. Ended up serving six years. Re-enlisted last year.

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Menusa, 33, of San Jose, California. Born in the Philippines. High school grad. Said to have joined Marines partly to attract women. Fought in first Gulf War and thought he should be a guide to younger Marines in the current fighting because he knew the region.

Lance Cpl. Jesus A. Suarez del Solar, 20, of Escondido, Mexico. A Mexican citizen. Chose military over college after high school. Father wishes his son had not died for “Bush’s oil.”

Marine Maj. Kevin G. Nave, 36, of Union, Lake Michigan. Graduated in ’85 from local high school, played football, on wrestling team. Left wife and two kids. Adviser to Southern Wisconsin Young Marines. Loved his work.

Navy Hospital Corpsman Third Class Michael Vann Johnson, Jr., 25, of Little Rock, Arkansas: After graduating from University of Central Arkansas, he then joined military. Loved basketball, acting, helping people. Dreamed of becoming an actor. Father a retired air traffic controller with the Air Force.

Marine Staff Sgt. Donald C. May, 31, of Richmond, Virginia. Both parents Marines. Joined Marines after getting out of college. Was serving as a tank commander when his vehicle went off a bridge in Iraq. Wife seven months pregnant with their second child.

Army Reserve Spec. Brandon Tobler, 19, of Oregon. A graduate of a local high school who joined army to pay for college. Dreamed of being either an artist or police officer. Died in vehicle crash in southern Iraq.

Air Force Maj. Gregory Stone. Grew up in Portland. Attended local high school and Oregon State University. As a kid worked in ice cream parlor and was a driver for Festival of Roses princess. Wanted to join Air Force even as a kid. Was living in Boise, Idaho, where ex-wife and two young sons live.

Marine Lance Cpl. Eric Orlowski, 26, of Cheektowga, New York. Always wanted to be a marine. Worked for various companies after high school, making and installing windows. Died after a gun accidentally went off.

Marine Sgt. Bradley Korthaus, 29, of Iowa. Attended high school in Davenport, Iowa, played sports and musical instruments. Was scheduled to take an exam to become a certified journeyman plumber and pipe-fitter but his unit shipped out first.

Marine Cpl. Evan James, 20, of Illinois. Had been studying for past two years at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville to become a physical trainer, and joined the reserves to earn money for college. Shipped out to Iraq a little more than a month ago.

Marine Sgt. Nicolas Hodson, 22, of Missouri. High school grad, had two sons.

Marine Maj. Jay Aubin, 36, of Maine. Grew up in Skowhegan, mother lives in Winslow. A marine helicopter pilot he attended a Tech College in southern Maine. His two children live in Yuma with their mother. Joined Marines in order to become a pilot. Died in ‘copter crash in Kuwait.

Marine Cpt. Ryan Beaupre, 30, of St. Anne, Illinois. Remembered for love of surfing and flying. Died in copter crash.

Marine Staff Sgt. Kendall Watersbey, 29, of Baltimore, Maryland. Lived in California with wife, was father of a ten-year-old, a specialist in helicopter maintenance. Father held up a photo to news cameras, angrily telling Bush to “get a good look” at his only son.

Marine Cpl. Brian Kennedy, 25, of Texas. Played lacrosse at Texas Tech. Left School in ’99 to sign up with Marines for a five-year term.

Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, 22. Los Angeles resident who came to U.S. as an orphan from Guatemala. Had been homeless since he was eight. Met social worker and came to U.S., where he lived with foster family. Learned English, enjoyed soccer and playing chess. He was so thankful for his new life in America that according to his foster brother, “He joined the marines to pay back a little of what he’d gotten from the U.S. For him it was a question of honor.”

Marine 2nd Lt. Therrel Childers, 30, of Harrison County, Mississippi. Born in West Virginia, went to high school in Harrison County. Came from military family. Joined the Marines in 1990 “a week before Hussein invaded Kuwait,” his father said.

Sgt. Michael Bitz, 31, of Ventura, California. High school grad, father of four, including twins born one month ago. Killed in ambush. Mother urged him to quit being a drifter and join Marines.

Marine Lance Cpl. David Fribley, of Fort Myers, Florida. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, wanted nothing more than to become a marine. Exercised daily, working out at a gym in Florida until he thought he was strong and fit. Then he enlisted in the Marines, leaving his job working with seniors, so that he might one day fight on the front lines.

Marine Cpl. Jose Garibay, 21, of Orange County, California. Mexican, not an American citizen. Mom speaks little English. Wanted to become an American citizen. Sent money home to his mother.

Marine Cpl. Jorge Gonzalez, 20, of Los Angeles. Mother learned of his death watching Al Jazeera broadcast over telemundo. Neighbors trying to help family.

Marine 2nd Lt. Frederick Pokorney, Jr., 31, of Nye, Nevada. Worked as waiter, dishwasher, and
cook at a hotel when in high school. Attended college because he had been recommended for officer’s training.

Marine Lance Cpl. Thomas Slocum, 22, of Thornton, Colorado. Troubled teenager before marines
turned his life around, according to the AP.

Army Cpt. Christopher S. Seifert, 27, of Williams Township, Pennsylvania. Attended local high school and college, then went into boot camp. Spent time in Bosnia. Married.

Marine Sgt. Michael V. Lalush, 23, of Troutville, Virginia. Enlisted following high school in Virginia. Wanted to be a marine, but was more into the gadgetry of the military than fighting.

Marine Lance Cpl. Patrick T. O’Day, 20, of Sonoma, California. Graduate of a Santa Rosa high school, told family he wanted to join military and they thought it would be a good career move.

Marine Pfc. Francisco Martinez Flores, 21, of Los Angeles. Moved to California from Mexico at an early age. Joined marines to help him reach his goal of getting a college education.

Marine Cpt. Aaron J. Contreras, 31, of Sherwood, Oregon. Attended high school in Sherwood and then Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona before joining the marines. Father a Vietnam veteran.

Marine Cpl. Robert M. Rodriguez, 21, of Queens, New York. From a large Puerto Rican Queens family, joined Marines when he was 17 and was considering a career in law enforcement.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 8, 2003

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