James was born on October 21, 1993 to the parents of Cliff & De Kesinger in Corpus Christi. At an early age he moved with his family to Zapata, Texas. James played Little League, Football, Band, Track, and was one of the first male cheerleaders in Zapata High School History. He was active in 4-H and trained to become a Black Belt in Taekwondo. James graduated in 1993 from Zapata High School and joined the National Guard. After serving in the National Guard, James joined the 887th Army Reserve unit in Sinton. While in the reserve his unit was call upon for a tour of Iraq. After serving his first tour in Iraq as a Medic, he wanted to go active duty. Signing up for active duty he was sent to Ft. Riley Kansas. There his unit was called upon to go to Iraq for his second tour. He had 6 children who he loved with all his heart. Justice, Christian, Brianna, Megan, Meredith and Jerrad. He was married to San Juana Palmer (remarried another soldier). James is survived by his children and parnets(Cliff & De Kesinger), Sister Tanya Kesinger, Sister Tina & Jose Garcia, many neices and nephews. He will always be in our Hearts and Soul as one of our Fallen Heroes.
He was born in El Paso, but grew up in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. He joined the Army after he graduated in 1999 from Ysleta High School in El Paso. He was based at Fort Hood before serving two duty tours in Iraq. He was currently serving in Afghanistan as part of the 7th Engineering Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division based at Fort Drum, N.Y. Staff Sgt. Aceves was last in Dallas in August for a two-week visit of rest and recovery. He was due to return to Dallas in April.
He enlisted in the Army in 2005, after attending Dayton High School and being home-schooled. He completed basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., and was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum. One of his former senior enlisted leaders called him "one of the best guys you could ever know." He led his troops through a variety of dangerous missions when the division was in Iraq. "He always performed exceptionally. There was no doubt this soldier was destined to be a leader," "Not only was he a physical stud, who never seemed to wear down, but he did his job while making everyone else laugh." While home on leave a couple years ago, they tried to teach him how to plunk out a tune on a child's guitar while having no idea how to play the instrument himself. "He always knew how to mess with you and make you smile," "He just always knew what to do to get you in a good mood."
From the time he was little, all Paul Alaniz wanted to do was earn his wings and fly. "He was an amazing life force," "When he took to the air, we all went with him." He was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. He attended Texas Tech University and worked as a substitute high school teacher before he joined the military in 1996. He was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq. "He wanted to be a helicopter pilot more than anyone else I'd ever known," "He was very focused, honest and confident. He believed in what the Corps stood for. Not too many people get to do what they want and believe in it so much." He is survived by his wife, Thelma, and an 18-month-old daughter, Yvette.
He was born July 14, 1981 in Edinburg, TX. He is a graduate of Edcouch Elsa High School in 1999. He resided in McAllen. He enlisted in the Army in 2001 and was on his 4th tour of duty. He served in several campaigns from Operation Iraqi Freedom and ending with Operation New Dawn.
He was born and raised in Roscoe, graduating from high school there where he was active in sports but spent several years in Big Spring before enlisting in the Army. He was remembered as being very popular among friends and colleagues.
When Danny returned to his high school, some of the teachers might not have recognized him. After all, the man with the short hair and uniform once was a Goth who wore all black. "He even had black fingernails," recalled one teacher. "When he was here in December, he was a changed man." A 1994 high school graduate. His father, described his son as a "good kid growing up to be a good man." When he returned to his high school, he encouraged the students to make the most of their time in school. "He was motivating because he had not always been so focused," "I think it took him this long to find his way." He once worked as a window washer but needed a stable job. He joined the Army in 2003 after marrying his high school sweetheart. He and his wife just had a baby boy. "Before he left, he said that he'd promised Noah that he would be back,".
Baghdad, Iraq 6-8-2005 He liked to play video games with his son. He was always with his family. He graduated from high scool in 1992. He had been a border patrol agent in Laredo. He was a very good person and everyone loved him. He was a great father,son, and soldier.
He proposed to his fiancee in a phone call from Iraq. They were going to get married in December, and have their first dance as man and wife to a country-western tune, "It Was You." Even though I'll never get the opportunity to have that first dance, I can only imagine what kind of husband and father he would have been," "I love how he looked at life. He could completely light up the whole room." His mother, remembers her son's rambunctious yet endearing personality. "That's how he would sign his letters from Iraq, 'From Your Precious, Perfect Son,'" "He was definitely a class clown, I would have hated to have been his school teacher at times."
Forward Operating Base Sharana, Afghanistan 8-12-2007
He was a motor transport operator with the 782nd Brigade Support Battalion. "Each paratrooper that knew him will remember him in their own way they will grieve in their own way," said the company commander. "I know that he will not be forgotten." His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Ribbon, and the NATO Medal and the Combat Action Badge.
Bellard grew up in Crowley but moved away when he was about 13 years old. He still has family that lives in Crowley as well. Bellard was described by family members as an intelligent and devoted soldier. Bellard grew up in Crowley, La., but moved to El Paso with his mother and three brothers when he was 13. He was so very honest. He was such a positive and humble man. They did not know which high school Bellard attended in El Paso, he met his wife, while he lived here. He lived in Killeen with his wife and 2-year-old daughter, Eva. Nicholas was a thinker. A man of very few words but very intelligent. He enlisted in the Army nine years ago to support his wife and quickly fell in love with his job. He wanted a steady job that would help him put his wife through school. Once he enlisted, he realized that it was what he wanted to do. Bellard was the second oldest of four brothers and was the backbone of the family.
Between Moqur and Darreh-Ye-Bum, Afghanistan 10-14-2010
Benitez, a Creekview High School graduate, enlisted in the army at 18. It was his childhood dream. In the last six years, he had already served two 12-month tours in Iraq. He left for his third assignment in the Middle East in July.
Ernesto M. Blanco first picked up a guitar when he was 8 months old and still loved to play, so his family wasn't surprised when a friend saw television footage of him strumming in Iraq on Christmas Day. "When he would play, everyone would just stop," Blanco, who was based at Fort Bragg, N.C., won a Bronze Star and his Combat Infantryman Badge while previously deployed to Afghanistan. "You could not ask for a better leader," said Sgt. 1st Class Naamon J. Grimmett, who served with Blanco in Iraq. He had a strong faith in God and did mission work in Mexico. "He would walk into a room and light it up. He was the glue that held everyone together," He was engaged to Michelle Sorrell and had planned a June wedding.
Block, was a Vidor native, joined the military in July 2005 as a military police officer and was assigned to the 401st Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, since January 2007. She was deployed to Iraq in May.
Block’s military awards and decorations included the National Defense Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal Global War on Terrorism (Service) Medal and the Army Service Ribbon. Block was described by family members an outgoing person who always wanted to help. “She loved people,” “She was out to help people with whatever she could.” Block had plans to pursue a career in law enforcement, her relatives said.
Regiment, Vilseck, Germany. PFC Cody graduated from McKinney North High School in 2009 where he was a member of the Cross-Country and Wrestling teams. He is survived by his father, Christopher W. Board of McKinney, Texas; mother, Melissa Board of McKinney, Texas; brothers Aaron and Tyler Board of McKinney, Texas; grandparents, Robert Board and fiancé, Marian Locke of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, Albert Daley and fiancé, Laqueta Snyder of Grove, Oklahoma. He was preceded in death by his grandmothers, Mozella Daley and Sally Board. His military awards include the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Bronze Star,Purple Heart, and the National Defense Medal.
He stayed home with his wife for a while last year when her father, Army Sgt. 1st Class Henry A. Bacon, died in Iraq. It was that gentlemanly personality that attracted his wife to her husband when they met while working at a Target store. They married at Fort Hood and would have celebrated their third wedding anniversary March 16. He was based at Fort Hood. He attended the University of Texas in Austin, and he decided in high school that he wanted to be an Army pilot. "He liked flying," "He was a wonderful, kindhearted, caring, gentle person." "He told me he was going to fly a couple more missions before he came home," "I was going to welcome him home, since I didn't get to welcome my dad home."
"He was always a fine gentleman and a gentleman of character and certainly a hero". Bostick is survived by his wife of 14 years, Jennifer Bostick, and their daughters, Jessica, 18, and Ashlie, 13. "He was a great person, a great leader,"
Britt was a West Point graduate and was assigned to Fort Campbell. Britt played in two high school state championship games and one semifinal, was named 1998 first-team, all-state offensive guard and made the 1998 Amarillo Globe-News Football Super Team. Britt also was valedictorian of his class, an Eagle Scout, a saxophone-playing member of the Wheeler High Band and a member of the 1A state-winning literary criticism team.
Burgess graduated from Cleburne High School in 1999, where he was a standout athlete who played soccer, baseball and football, and ran track. "He was a sweet guy," classmates told the school district for an article. "He always had a smile on his face. He was always friendly."Burgess was also an active member of Granbury Street Church of Christ. He's survived by a wife and two daughters. Burgess was assigned to Fort Campbell.
He served in the Army for ten years and was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. He was a family peaceful man you couldn't ask for a better guy. Burgess was married to Jennifer. "Scott was the gentlemen. His mom and dad must have raised him well I mean he was a very yes 'mam, no 'mam, he still opens the doors for his wife and children or any woman. He was very polite. He was quiet but funny, he was a helper, he would do anything for you. Burgess attended Franklin High School in the mid 90's and was a member of the Future Farmers of America.
Born April 10, 1981, in Atlanta, GA, Pete brightened many lives in his 26 years. After graduating from Trinity Christian Academy in 1999, he attended the University of Georgia, then transferred to Texas A&M, where he completed a BA in international studies. During his time at A&M, Peter served as the president of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and was also a sportswriter for The Battalion, among other activities. After graduating, he worked as a tour guide in Nice, France, and also worked for the Dallas Cowboys, the Dallas Desperadoes and FC Dallas.
Rhett was born Oct. 17, 1984, in Clifton. He graduated from Glen Rose High School in 2003 and joined the U.S. Army a year later. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Lecile and Sammie Williams Stewart. Survivors: Mother, Sereta Ramsey of San Angelo; father and stepmother, Dr. David and Janice Butler of Lago Vista; sisters, Shayre Strickland and husband, Fred Jr., of Christoval, Shawna Conway of Glen Rose; stepbrother, Jarrett Ganer of Houston; stepsister, Melissa Ganer of Lago Vista; grandparents, John and Kay Butler of Atlanta, Ga., Ernest and Jackie Drake of Glen Rose; three nephews; and one niece.
He grew up in Houston and graduated from Sam Houston High School in 1988. A clinical social worker with the Army's Medical Service Corps. He was a soldier's soldier. His understanding of a soldier's needs and a soldier's nneds. He had the unique ability to understand the human needs of a warrior, both in the officer and the enlisted communities, He was always looking out for the interests of his soldiers and the troops andhis unitbefore himself. He was born in Florida but spent much of his youth in Houston. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Texas A&M University in 1992 and a master's in social work from theUniversity of Texas Arlington in 1994. In the span of his 15-year military career, he had traveled to Hungary as a chief of mental health, to Iraq as behavioral health officer for a Stryker Brigade, and to Germany, where he served as deputy director.He also earned a doctorate in social work at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Last year, he joined the faculty at Uniformed Services University. As director of social work and assistant professor in the university's Department of Family Medicine, he saw patients, taught military medical students, conducted research on post-traumatic stress disorder and participated in university field training exercises. He was a talented clinician. He created a sense of trust and a sense of comfort, and without trust or comfort a doctor-patient relationship really means nothing. Humor was essential to his success. Being in the healing arts, laughter is one of most powerful medicines that we have when used appropriately. He always just knew when and how to make people smile, to make people laugh, to put people at ease, and he used that in his professional life extremely well. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel Sept. 1 in a small ceremony at USU, surrounded by family, friends and colleagues.
Sgt. John Paul Castro was born January 20, 1986, in Andrews, Texas. He loved playing baseball and football and was a member of the Andrews High School band. He loved to fish and enjoyed being outdoors. He loved sports of all kinds, and most of all loved spending time with his family. Sgt. Castro was an Infantryman assigned to Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). He joined the military in October 2004, after graduating high school. Sgt. Castro was on his third tour overseas. He was previously given two purple hearts after being severely injured in Iraq. Sgt. Castro was on a special mission in Afghanistan when his group came under attack. His awards and decorations include: Bronze Star Medal; Purple Heart Medal; Army Commendation Medal with Valor device; Army Achievement Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; North Atlantic Treaty Organization medal and Combat Infantryman Badge.
Staff Sgt. Roland L. Castro was the kind of father who happily played dress-up with his 4-year-old daughter, Raquel Lee. "It didn't matter what kind of day he'd had," said his cousin. "He'd sit and have tea with her and her Barbies." He was assigned to Fort Sill, Okla. When Castro was sent home with relatively minor hand injuries, he told his mother he wanted to return to Iraq. "I've got to bring my soldiers back safely," Was recalled saying at Brooke Army Medical Center in June. Within weeks he was again leading his field artillery unit near Baghdad, and by early January, half of Castro's unit had made it safely back to Kuwait. He told his wife, Liliana, that he expected to return to San Antonio by March. "This is what he loved to do," "He was so proud of being a soldier."
Catlett gave his oldest daughter a teddy bear to hold and sleep with every time he was deployed overseas. Ryann, who will turn 5 later this month, left the teddy bear behind the last time her dad came home. She told her mom she didn’t need it. She had daddy now. "He could walk into a room and everyone loved him". Catlett is a 2005 graduate of Cypress Ridge High School.
With the Super Bowl approaching, the family of Simon T. Cox Jr. thought often of their deployed football fan in Iraq. "He was so excited about sports and his family,". "He would get so involved and yell at them ... He was assigned to Fort Hood and was on his second tour. Cox earned a bachelor''s degree in English from the University of Texas at Arlington and wanted to be a high school teacher after his service, having worked with students at Fort Worth''s Polytechnic High School. He also served as a youth minister at churches in Dallas and Mesquite. "Our youth here are devastated because he really meant a lot to them and spent a lot of time with them,". "He carried some of them through some tough times." "He was a good, compassionate young man," He is survived by his wife, Jeni Duff; and sons, James and Simon.
She went to high school in Texarkana, Ark., and "always loved animals. Other interests included hunting and fishing, as well as the martial art of taekwondo. She absolutely loved being in the Army. She enjoyed serving, and she loved her dog she had in the Army. She was often smiling and laughing and caring for others and that she rarely had a bad word for anybody. Everybody that knew her loved her. She touched a lot of people. That was her personality.
He was born May 29, 1973 in Miami, FL. He was a 1991 graduate of Manatee High School in Bradento, FL. He was assigned to 101st Finance Company, 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, Fort Campbell. He joined the Army in 2005 and arrived at Fort Campbell in July 2009. He was the recipient of numerous awards and decorations, which include: the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation and a host of other decorations.
He graduated from Clear Lake High School in Houston. He was on his first deployment to Iraq, which began in August 2006 and would have ended next month. He wanted to serve his country; he wanted to make a difference. He felt honored to serve his country. He excelled in JROTC during high school and was selected to attend a national ROTC meeting for outstanding leaders. He loved sports, especially the Dallas Cowboys and NASCAR.
He was a graduate of the Oakridge High School in 2004 where his family says he was a member of the ROTC. Family and friends say they will remember Pfc. Zachary R. Endsley was a quiet, witty "jokester" full of creative talent. "He was a free spirit, and he was never afraid to try new things," "He knew exactly what he wanted to do. Endsley, a 2004 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, enjoyed computer games, music and drawing. A talented artist, Endsley won a poster contest in high school. "He had a quiet nature, but a quick wit," "He used laughter and pranks to entertain others." He was active in the youth group at Crossroads Baptist Church, where the Carrolls are involved in the worship ministry.As a teenager, Endsley joined the Civil Air Patrol, a volunteer support organization of the U.S. Air Force, and belonged to the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at Oak Ridge High School. After graduation, Endsley enrolled in Montgomery College. Zachary Endsley is survived by his mother, Melinda Carroll; stepfather, David Carroll; father, Terry Endsley; brother, Aaron Endsley; two stepsisters, Katie Petty and Kimberly Worthington, and their families.
Bradley Espinoza stood out in part because of his grin. It''s what sticks with his mother, Magdalena, who recalls him as a man always making others laugh. And it struck Chris Widell, who once led Espinoza''s platoon and remembered him in an online message board posting as a smart, eager soldier. "He had a bright smile that he could barely conceal, he worked hard, he trained hard and you could tell he wanted to be a leader," Espinoza buckled down in his work. "He was more lean, more serious and he had a presence about him that gave his soldiers confidence," He had joined the Army as a combat engineer in July 2002, shortly after graduating from Mission High School. Espinoza''s survivors include his wife, Maria; children, Joseph and Celeste; and four brothers and sisters. SSG. Bradley Espinoza of Alton was born on Sept. 12, 1983 in San Juan, Texas. He was a 2002 graduate of Mission High School. He enlisted in the United States Army shortly after graduating from high school.
John Farias was a 2009 graduate of Canyon High School where he started as defensive end for the Canyon Cougars. He was into power lifting was a devout Christian, an Eagle Scout and during the summer worked as a lifeguard for the city of New Braunfels.
Joshua joined the military in March 2006. He was a member of the 10th Mountain Division, a storied unit that formed during World War II. The soldiers are trained to fight and survive under brutal mountain conditions. The 3rd Brigade Combat team of the Mountain Division was sent to eastern Afghanistan in January of this year. Joshua was a decorated soldier. His awards and commendations include: the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, and Combat Infantryman Badge. He was born in Austin and grew up in Smithville, loved guitars. He wanted to learn how to make them.
Military officials stated that Krystal filled a critical role in her unit and took on duties well beyond the scope of her training. She is also described as motivated, tenacious and dedicated. Krystal had learned the Pashtu language to help soldiers communicate with local Afghans. Her awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Combat Action Badge and the Parachutist Badge.
Sergeant Flores was born October 21, 1978 in Austin, Texas to Dr. and Mrs. Leopoldo R. Flores. He graduated from John Marshall High School San Antonio, Texas in 1997. After graduation he enlisted in the Air Force. Upon completion of Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas he volunteered for the Pararescue indoctrination course. He excelled as a top graduate followed by a two year pipeline training regiment giving him the skills needed to support their motto "That Others May Live."
During his distinguished military career he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism. Michael was a Pararescueman whose skills knew no boundaries, whose warm personality knew no strangers, and whose service to his country will be long remembered.
All told, Kenneth Fortenberry and his three sons have logged 58 years in the military, so he knows how his son Chuck must have felt when he was shipped to Iraq. "We've all done our turn, we've all had to go through what Chuck went through when he left on that plane," he said. "Think of a man with three children and a wife who doesn't know whether he's coming back. No one knows loneliness like that." He was based at Fort Hood, Texas, and had been in Iraq about two months. Fortenberry had put in 19Â˝ years of service, including thousands of hours in military helicopters, but his father said he had begun to grow concerned about his safety. "He told me he was only flying at night but things had gotten real messy the last two or three days," Fortenberry said. Fortenberry is survived by a wife and two sons, ages 8 and 10, who live near Fort Hood, and another son, 15, who lives in North Carolina.
Robert enjoyed playing his guitar. He attended John Marshall High School. He joined the Army in May of 2002 and left for boot camp August 13, 2002. He is survived by his parents Kim & Vince Smith, his two sisters, two brothers and a daughter Shannon (6 years old). Robert will be missed and always loved.
If you want to see his legacy, just take a look at the bridge and landscaping next to the West Point Youth Activities Center. He designed the beautiful timber bridge, negotiated with post agencies and contractors, and managed the volunteers who helped build the site. He unveiled the bridge during graduation and was commissioned as an officer on it. Today, the bridge stands as a testament to his spirit of service and commitment to excellence. He was assigned to Fort Hood. Fraser graduated in 2004 from U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he was a member of the cross-country and track teams, and received a civil engineering degree. He liked NASCAR, country music, fishing, big trucks, mountain biking and playing his guitar. He was a true Texan, for sure, and was very outgoing, incredibly friendly, almost always had a great big smile on his face.
Inez Garza was looking forward to a June visit from her son, whom she hadn't seen in a year because his work schedule in the Army kept him from making the long trip from his base in Georgia to South Texas. She believed that since the war in Iraq was almost over, her son would be coming home soon. According to family members, he had been in the Army more than 20 years, having joined two or three years after graduating from Robstown High School.
Gartner spent time in Dumont following his childhoood in Aransas Pass, Texas. After attending Dumont High School, where he was in the Junior ROTC, he earned a GED in 2004 from the New Jersey National Guard Challenge Youth Program at Fort Dix, then joined the Army.
Loyalty to comrades prompted him, a 2007 Sinton High School graduate, to volunteer for duty in Afghanistan. He was the happiest, smiliest boy, the most loving son in the world. . He was extremely dedicated. One of his fellow Marine’s family lost everything while he was in Iraq and the soldier couldn’t afford to get home despite having the leave approved. Mark gave him the money. Serving others began at home. While in high school, Goyet read Dr. Seuss books to children at Welder Elementary School and volunteered to help youngsters shop during the Sinton For Youth Children’s Christmas shopping spree. He enlisted after his high school graduation. He was an all district pick in football and basketball in the 2006-07 school year. He was a tough football player, who would get in and get after it. His effort was second to none, and he was a pleasure to be around, a wonderful kid who did what was asked of him. He wanted to please.
A towering 6-foot-5, tenderhearted, "a gentle, gentle giant." "A crooked little old smile, mischief in those eyes," said a family friend. "I don't know anybody who disliked him." He was based in San Antonio. Graham graduated from high school and volunteered with local fire departments while attending fire academy classes. "He was strong as an ox," said Mike Mulroney, who took classes with him. "As big of a guy as he was, he was approachable. He'd give you the shirt off his back if he could." With a friend, Graham painted water towers, sold Christmas trees, took an impromptu ski trip to Colorado and nearly went to work on a fishing boat in Alaska. He is survived by his mother, Sherry Graham, and father, Joe Graham, who served in Vietnam. "We talked about the fact that you tell your children what you did, and when they follow in your footsteps it sometimes makes you proud, and sometimes it scares you," Hildebrand said.
He was working as a technician in a prosthetics lab on Sept. 11, 2001. Had a strong sense of duty. He was assigned to Fort Bragg. He played junior varsity and varsity football in high school, graduating in 2000 and then working for Amarillo Artificial Limb-Brace. He was very well-mannered, a loyal and trustworthy employee and a good friend. He was a loving, compassionate man.
Kyle was born and raised in The Woodlands, Texas, and graduated from The Woodlands High School in 2010. Upon graduating from high school, Kyle enlisted in the Army U.S. and completed basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia in September. Kyle was an infantry soldier assigned to the 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment (Reconnaissance and Surveillance), 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His awards and decorations include Army Commendation Medal Posthumous, Army Good Conduct Medal Posthumous, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal Posthumous, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and NATO Medal Posthumous.
He was born September 26, 1978 in Houston, Texas. After graduating from Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston, he was appointed to the U.S Military Academy and graduated in 2001. He was commissioned as an armor officer. As a cadet, he majored in History and Political Science and was on the Dean’s list for seven of his eight semesters. In addition, he was the Cadet-in-Charge for the Special Olympics West Point sponsors in 2001 and the Cadet Counseling Unit for Cadet Basic Training 2000. He was also an active member of the Combat Weapons Team and ran in the Marine Corps Marathon. After completing the Armor Office Basic Course, he was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division in Germany. He was known for his optimism, selflessness, and infectious smile. His life and service typify the ideals of USMA and the Army. In his application to West Point, he wrote, “I would like to give something back to the country which has given me so many rights, privileges, and advantages in life. I feel that West Point is the academy with the best leadership training available for me to forge my leadership potential."
He was an Eagle Scout. Proposed to his wife on bended knee in front of a full football stadium. He became a leader in the Army. He grew up in Abilene, Tex. He was just the kind of All-American boy that everyone would want. An Eagle Scout, "Little Doyle ," his nickname to distinguish him from his father, embodied the Boy Scout motto, which speaks to honoring God and country and being dutiful to both. He was a man of honor, integrity, swam on the Abilene High School team for three years but was not a big-time athlete. All the time he was in high school he wanted to attend Texas A&M and be a member of the Corps of Cadets. Despite a counselor's prediction that his dyslexia would make it impossible to graduate, he prevailed and graduated, serving in the corps for four years. He would stand in 140-degree heat in Iraq for two hours just to call home. He was a very passionate person, and very loyal. When he believed in something, he believed in it 110 percent. His Army experience included six months at Fort Leonard Wood, then a move to Fort Riley on March 31, 2003. He got involved in the First United Methodist Church, they liked to go to Pillsbury Crossing for picnics, and to City Park for the Arts in the Park concerts. He also liked to work in his woodshop in the basement, and he loved working on a 1940s-era Jeep.
He was born on January 2, 1990 in Midland. Josue was raised and educated in Midland, where he graduated from Midland High School in 2009. He attended Midland College. He received numerous medals during his tour, including the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. His dream was to be a missionary and was hoping to be stationed in Japan, where he wanted to minister to the people. He was baptized in May of 2001 and in August of 2008 he began his ministry as a Deacon at ALCC under AWA umbrella. He served as a Youth Director at the ALCC and was a member of Abundant Life Christian Center. He was also an amateur boxer with Top Boxing, in Midland, where he won several matches.
He wanted to make the Army his life's work. He wanted to be a career man and he loved flying those choppers. He grew up in Sweetwater, Texas, and graduated from high school there. He returned from assignment in Korea in December and left for Kuwait in January. He was doing what he was doing so his children and everyone here could have the life they have gotten so used to.
Staff Sgt. Gary W. Jeffries 37 Roscoe
Mosul, Iraq 1-28-2008
He was a 1990 high school graduate.
Pfc. Payton A. Jones
Kandahar Province, Afghanistan
Pfc. Ron J. Joshua Jr. 19 Austin
Baghdad, Iraq 7-17-2007
Ron served his country for only a short time yet he served his country with great pride in the footsteps of his father. Ron spent his life traveling all over the world with his military family, he considered Austin to be his home. He graduated in 2006 of Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville. His strength and courage reminds us daily of the freedoms we sometimes take for granted. He enjoyed many things in life including football, weightlifting, music, dancing and even learning to play the piano. His smile would light up any room and his silent presence would make you want to be around him. He was funny and loved to play jokes on his sister and cousins. Always a kid at heart, Ron was always up for a challenge or dare; he kept the spice in our lives. Ron had the privilege of using the internet while in Iraq and was able to communicate with his loving girlfriend, who kept his spirits up and his heart warm during the most trying time of his life.
Lance Cpl. Mark D. Juarez 23 San Antonio
Helmand Province, Afghanistan
Sgt. Samuel E. Kelsey 24 Troup
He graduated from Troup High School in 2001. He was part of an active and tight-knit class. He had a good sense of humor and made friends easily.
Sgt. (Trey) Charles B. Kitowski III 31 Farmers Branch
He grew up in Katy, Texas. He graduated from St. Thomas High School and The University of St. Thomas, in Houston. He was employed by Southwest Airlines
Pfc. Andrew M. Krippner 20 Garland
Forward Operating Base Bostick
Pfc. Ira B. Laningham IV 22 Zapata
Logar Province, Afghanistan
He liked to be called Benjamin by his friends. Throughout his high school years, he used his love of music and his skills on the trumpet to play taps at military funerals. He considered the soldiers fallen heroes and wanted to honor them. He was born Sept. 1, 1988, in Greenfield, Mass., but spent much of his life in Zapata, near the Texas-Mexico border. He graduated from in 2006 from Zapata High School. After spending two years at Texas A&M International University studying music. He had aspirations of becoming an Army Ranger.
Cpl. Joseph D. Logan 22 Willis
Helmand Province, Afghanistan 1-19-2012
Spc. Braden J. Long 19 Sherman
Cpl. Juan M. Lopez Jr. 23 San Antonio
He was born August 9, 1984 in Mt. Holly, New Jersey. He attended the public schools of Florence County. Corporal Lopez was a member of Faith Kingdom Builders Outreaching Ministries, Florence, SC. He was also a member of The Inner Court Apostolic Church, Florence, and Faith Mission Outreach, Texas.
Petty Officer Brian K. Lundy 25 Austin
Marjah, Afghanistan 9-8-2011
Capt. Seane E. Lyerly 31 Pflugerville
He was a member of the Texas National Guard as a pilot. A 1994 graduate of Stratford High School in Houston, joined the National Guard in 1996 after earning a bachelor of science degree in horticulture from Texas A&M University in May 2000. He went on active duty last February and was sent overseas in August to provide aviation support and security. During his tenure he received various awards including a National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star. He was being recommended for a posthumous Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal for his selfless service and acts of heroism and valor, the Texas National Guard said. He worked as a pilot for the National Guard during hurricanes Katrina and Rita, spending several months flying in supplies and helping with rescue missions. He was a wonderful man. He was loving, passionate and full of integrity.
He was known in his family for epic wrestling matches that rumbled throughout the house, his powerful throw during family baseball games, his insatiable appetite and, most importantly, his fierce, protective love for his family, friends and country. He lived and breathed the idea that what he was doing was honorable. He loved it. That’s what he did. That’s what made him happy. That was his purpose in life protection whether it was family, friends or country. He enlisted shortly after he graduated from Mathis High School in 2007. He split his childhood between living with his mother in Baytown and with his aunt and uncle, in Mathis. He moved to the town of 5,200 permanently in high school. The move was a big change for him, who had a troubled childhood and had fallen behind at school. By the time he enrolled in Mathis High School, he lagged a year-and-a-half behind other students. They worked tutoring him at school sometimes until 6 p.m. Before long, the determined, hardworking teenage boy caught up to his peers. Despite the move from Baytown to Mathis midway through his high school career, hr melded seamlessly with his Mathis classmates. He excelled in baseball, often acting as a leader who inspired other players to do better, said team mates who played with him in 2007, the year he was named to the All-District team. He joined the football team. He never knew his biological father. The loss of his father left a gaping hole in his life that they always figured he would someday fill. The family plans to bury Maldonado in Falfurrias, next to his father. They called him “Piglet” because of his ears and the way he turned pink when he got embarrassed.
CWO Johnny Villareal Mata 35 Pecos
He grew up in the small town of Pecos, Texas, played high school football and joined the Army as a teenager to make it his career. Whatever he was required to do, he was willing to do. He knew everything about the vehicles he worked on, from electrical systems to engine mechanics. Everyone wanted to be around him. He was the most knowledgeable in his area of expertise.
Pvt. John A. Mattox 23 Daingerfield
Forward Operating Base Bostick
John was a "good 'ole Texas boy" with a big smile and infectious laugh. He had an outstanding and refreshing attitude toward everything he did
Staff Sgt. Chauncy R. Mays 25 Cookville
Staff Sgt. Kasif M. Memon
Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan
Pfc. Sean P. McCune 20 Euless
He was a 2007 high school graduate. He loved to play video games and enjoyed wildlife and photography. Until a few months ago, he still shot photos on an old manual-everything, film-only Nikon camera.
Staff Sgt. Mecolus C. McDaniel 33 Fort Hood
Khost Province, Afghanistan
Sgt. Garrett McLead 23 Rockport
Garrett was a 2002 graduate of Rockport-FultonHigh School. A member of First Baptist Church of Rockport, enjoyed surfing and played varsity tennis and soccer in high school. He was described McLead as an adventure seeker who changed from a moppy-haired teen to a clean-cut soldier overnight. Garrett had a great smile and always was happy.
Cpl. James H. McRae 22 Springtown
He taught himself how to play the guitar and tried to match Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan in a garage band that played at talent shows. He was a team player. For one thing, he stuck with it all the way through, from sixth grade to his senior year. He gave it his best and showed a good attitude the whole way. Not all students can do that. He was a 2003 high school graduate and was assigned Okinawa, Japan. He learned at an early age how to fix fences and work cattle and how to repair boat and car engines under the watchful eye of his dad. Outgoing and never wanting for a date, he played trombone in the Springtown marching band and the jazz band. His skill earned him a music scholarship to Weatherford College, which he attended for a year. He enjoyed deer hunting and especially loved fishing, whether in the stock tanks on the family ranch or on a charter boat in the Gulf of Mexico.
Lance Cpl. Matthew S. Medlicott 21 Houston
The woman whom Matthew S. Medlicott called "Ama" said her second-oldest grandson was proud to be a Marine. "It was all he ever wanted to do," "He was just a doll," "He had a ready wit, a sparkly look in his eyes. He was fun." He was assigned to Camp Pendleton and was on his second tour. "He was highly regarded by his teachers," "He was a motivated student. He was a fine soldier, a wonderful son and a wonderful young man." Like his older brother, always had an interest in the Marines, and he wanted to make a career of the military. He deserves to be lauded for his devotion and his belief in the rightness of what he was doing, He said, 'We will fight them there or we will fight them here.'"
Sgt. Joseph B. Milledge 23 Pointblank
He was an avid reader, especially about religion and philosophy. He especially enjoyed learning and reading about Socrates. "He would always say, 'Don't let schooling get in the way of education,'" He never stopped reading, and he was always a very good person. He doesn't want to be portrayed just as a soldier because he was much more than that. He was a 2002 high school graduate and was assigned to Vilseck, Germany. He was a sergeant and a team leader. He was a good soldier for the Army. He eventually wanted to get into the Special Forces. He tried to return to Iowa every six months to visit family and maintain his local ties. No matter where he was, it was always of the uttermost importance for him to see his family. Even though he had nine nieces and nephews, he would spend quality time with every one of them while he was here.
His plan was to go home to Texas and surprise his family. He said his Pa-Pa would really dig all the medals. He was a 1997 high school graduate. In high school, he played baseball and ran for the cross country team. In junior year, he enlisted and left for boot camp a week after graduating. He earned the nickname "Goose" as a high school freshman because of his unique running style. In 2002, he earned the legendary Green Beret. When he was home, he spent time with his family, riding dirt bikes and motorcycles, riding bikes with the children and taking them fishing.
Sgt. Omar L. Mora 28 Texas City
He wanted the best. He always said to stay in school and not to drop any college classes. He was a high school soccer player and car aficionado who was born to Ecuadorean immigrants, he taught Sunday school. He longed to join the Special Forces, which requires citizenship. He recently received those papers and was waiting to be sworn in. He was proud of this country, even though he was not an American yet.
Cpl. Juan P Navarro
Kandahar Province, Afghanistan
Saff Sgt. Clinton T. Newman 26 San Antonio
Deh Rawod, Afghanistan
He was born on July 5, 1979, in Midland, Texas. He was a trained civil affairs noncommissioned officer. He graduated from Pleasanton High School in Texas. . He graduated from the Civil Affairs Specialist Reclassification Course and was assigned to an Army Reserve special operations unit, the 321st Civil Affairs Brigade, San Antonio, Texas. He deployed with the unit in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in June 2003 and was promoted to sergeant during this rotation. He returned from Afghanistan in February 2004. In March 2005, Newman completed the Basic Airborne Course, and then redeployed shortly thereafter to Afghanistan with the 492nd Civil Affairs Bn. in Phoenix, Arizona. He was promoted to staff sergeant in June 2005. Newman's military training included the Driver's Training Course, Infantryman Course, Bradley Fighting Vehicle Infantryman Course, Basic Infantryman Course, Basic Airborne Course, Professional Leadership Development Course, the Civil Affairs Reclassification Course and the Combat Lifesaver Course. His awards included the Meritorious Service Medal, three Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Mobilization device, Armed Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, the Parachutist Badge, and he was named Army Reserve Soldier of the Year in 2000. His posthumous awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, the Armed Force Reserve Medal with "M" mobilization device and the numeral "2" device, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Combat Action Badge. His civilian education included attendance at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he studied criminal justice. He took great pleasure in running, fishing and spending time with his fellow soldiers. He was a loving, generous son and brother who was extremely loyal to his family and friends. His strong desire to do the honest and upright thing for himself and others served as an inspiration to his family. He possessed an adventurous spirit and love of learning, and always applied 100 percent of himself to everything he did. It was that adventurous spirit that led him to join the Army. He loved the camaraderie, structure and discipline he found there. He was a true patriot who served his country proudly for nine years. His quick wit, contagious smile and loving spirit will be dearly missed by his family and friend
He was tough on the outside but had a soft spot for animals. He was a King High School graduate, didn’t ask his family to send his favorite snacks. Instead he requested food for the animals he cared for. He was concerned with the underfed, flea-ridden dogs over there, he requested dog food and flea control. As a child, he brought home every type of stray imaginable: dogs, goats, chickens, reptiles and even a rat. He would cradle them in his arms and whisper, It’s going to be fine now, it’s going to be fine. He was caring for a baby turtle in a bowl, waiting for it to grow up so he could return it to the wild. His brother, said he was a down-to-earth, no-gimmicks kind of guy who was always ready to help others.
Sgt. Randell Olguin 24 Ralls
He was a Ralls Jackrabbit before he was a soldier, wearing maroon and white in just about every sport the tiny high school offered. Baseball, football, a year of basketball, cross country; he loved to run, despite carrying a thick lineman's build. His low, stocky frame could be seen bobbing on two- to three-mile jogs on the dirt roads around his house runs he took after football practice. He came home practically passing out. He would go play a football game Friday and go to a track meet on Saturday. You couldn't call him a natural, but he compensated by throwing himself at the sport. He wanted to play catche,.and worked hard for two years before becoming a district honorable mention at the position.
Pfc. James J. Oquin 20 El Paso
Spc. Jerod H. Osborne 20 Royse City
Yakuta, Afghanistan 8-5-2010
Airman 1st Class Corey C. Owens 26 San Antonio
Al Asad Air Base, Iraq
Cpl. Javier G. Paredes 24 San Antonio
He was remarkably innocent for all the abuse he had survived. When he found his way into the Army and became a medic, he found something that really fit. He loved to help people. Paredes was a hard worker who washed dishes and did other jobs, often volunteering for night and holiday shifts. He said he had made his decision, that he was going to do it and I didn't need not worry. But that's the way he was, spontaneous.
Capt. Paul Pena 27 San Marcos
Arghandab River Valley, Afghanistan
He attended San Marcos Baptist Academy before going to West Point. He always wore a smile, said the director of Alumni Relations at the Baptist Academy where he attended. He was indeed the most humble person I ever met.
He lived in Katy, anf graduated from Texas A&M University in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in economics. He was providing security at a municipal building. He earned a Bronze Star for valor during fighting at Hillah, Iraq. There were no limits to his aspirations. He wanted to have a career in the military, clear through to retirement.
Sgt. Cesar B. Ruiz 26 San Antonio
Firebase Fiddler’s Green, Afghanistan
Pfc. Colton W. Rusk 20 Orange Grove
Helmand Province, Afghanistan
He graduated from Orange Grove High School in 2009. He always wanted to be a Marine and joined right out of High School. He was loved by many and a Memorial was held in his Honor in Orange Grove Memorial Tree. Over a thousand people came in his Honor and many had memorial candles as a tribute to him. He loved sports and had many many friends. Everyone who knew him said how proud of him and his service.
Capt. Blake H. Russell 35 Ft. Worth
He was a graduate of Fort Worth's Boswell High School and Texas A&M University, was the aide to a general before the war started and then served two more tours in Iraq. He was training Iraqi soldiers. He was a field artillery officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team. He joined the military in 1989 and arrived at Fort Campbell in March 2005. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart during his career.
Sgt. John W. Russell 26 Portland-Fulton
He had a smile that made his blue eyes sparkle and a very funny laugh. He was born and raised in Gregory-Portland and was proud to be from Texas. He started playing sports when he was five years old. He had about three years of soccer and tried football where he found his first love. He played for the age of ten until his senior year. He was on offence and defence and left the playing field only on kickoffs. He ran track and was an active member of the drama department. He loved flying in the Black Hawk helecopters and planned on making a career of it. He wanted to be a U.S. Marshall. On his trips home, his first stop was always Whataburger, then home. He would call his buddies and go out for an evening of pool and other guy things. He always spent a day with his mom roaming around flea markets, and things they could think of as long as they were together.
CWO Richard M. Salter 44 Cypress
He graduated from Texas A&M University in 1985. He flew an air attack mission in support of ground troops that captured Saddam Hussein during his first tour.
1st Lt. Ryan T. Sanders 27 College Station
He was born 9-27-78 in Creve Couer, MO. A 1997 graduate of Berkner High School, he was active in student activities and was an Eagle Scout. He earned his Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Texas A&M University. He joined the Army in June 2004 and later graduated from Officer Candidate School. He deployed to Iraq in December 2005.
Spc. Eric D. Salinas 25 Houston
He was a sports lover and a particular fan of soccer and basketball. He also liked to dance. He was the clown of the family. He was always making everybody laugh. He was always coming out with silly things to entertain everyone. He was a great person. He'd already earned recognition, including the Army Commendation Medal.
Staff Sgt. Fernando Santos 29 San Antonio
He was known for his knowledge and willingness to share advice about work and life. He could also look at a comrade and know whether he was down. His cheerful greeting of "Hey, baby" was usually enough to elicit a smile. He was assigned to Fort Lewis. He earned his GED while working at Bill Miller Bar-B-Q while supporting his family. He loved his job and cared about the men in his platoon. He schooled them on finances and parenting and marriage and investment. He wanted them to be OK when they got out, like you would your own child. Everybody wanted to be him. He was really funny, quirky. He made everybody laugh. He was strong.
Spc. Philip C.S. Schiller
Kandahar Province, Afghanistan
LCpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt 24 San Antonio
Helmand Province, Afghanistan 10-6-2011
Sgt. Glenn M. Sewell 23 Live Oak
Wasit Province, Iraq 6-13-2011
Pfc. Darrell W. Shipp 25 Harlingen / San Antonio
He was born in San Antonio and graduated from Harlingen High School in 2000.
He had a promising law career ahead of him, there was one thing missing: tanks. He worked in labor and employment law, decided to join the Army in June 2003 because he had a lifetime fascination for the rumbling military machines. Once in Iraq, Smith was dedicated to helping teach others how tanks operated. He led by example, not just by telling everyone what to do. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas in 1991 and later attended Baylor Law School. He started a practice in McKinney, then moved to Austin. He was one of the most brilliant young men we ever met.
Staff Sgt. Jeremy D. Smith 26 Arlington
Helmand Province, Afghanistan,
Spc. Omar Soltero 28 San Antonio
Wardak Province, Afghanistan
Spc. Riley S. Spaulding 21 Sheridan
Kandahar Province, Afghanistan
Staff Sgt. Chris N. Staats 32 Fredericksburg
Jaghato District, Afghanistan
Sgt.1st Class Riley G. Stephens
Master Sgt. Benjamin A. Stevenson 36 Canyon Lake
Paktika Province, Afghanistan 7-21-2011
Staff Sgt. John C. Stock 26 Longview
Albu Hyatt, Iraq
He loved music, rock and traditional Southern country artists. He like Waylon Jennings, and all the Hanks: Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr. and Hank III. He had an adventurous and fearless spirit that was evidenced in the many pastimes he enjoyed: kayaking, camping, white water rafting, and mountain climbing. He said he knew what he had to do, and he was proud to do it. He was assigned to Camp Pendleton. Stock was a member of his high school varsity swim team, became an Eagle Scout at age 15, and was an avid soccer player, having played for the Marine Corps team. He enjoyed lifting weights and cooking, mostly barbecue. His platoon commander noted that he wanted to put hot sauce on absolutely everything.
Lt. Col. Mark E. Stratton II 39 Houston
In 2000, he graduated magna cum laude from Bowie High School, Arlington, Texas, where he was a member of the soccer team. He also attended Sam Houston High School, Arlington, Texas, where he played soccer and football. In 2004, he graduated cum laude with his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Marketing from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. After graduating from Texas A&M, he was considering admission to law school, but was drawn to the military which seemed to be his "calling." He was thinking about making the Army his career. He came from a 4th-generation military family.
Sgt. Steven L. Talamantez 34 Laredo
Al Amarah, Iraq 7-10-2011
Staff Sgt. Houston M. Taylor 25 Hurst
Kunar Province, Afghanistan 10-13-2011
Sgt. First Class David James Todd 36 San Antonio
Bala Morghab, Afghanistan
He loved his country and was eager to defend everything the U.S. Flag stands for. His love for his fellow man was always quite evident in all that he did and stood for, coming to the aid of those who needed him. Other people always came first! He was born (Santa Rosa Hospital) in San Antonio, Texas, May 26, 1972. He attended Highland Hills Baptist School (1st grade to 4th grade), Regency Elementary School School, Bradley Middle School and MacArthur High School. Volunteer Fireman for the Bulverde Volunteer Fire Dept. and Hollywood Park Volunteer Fire Dept. while attending high school. He served in Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom Iraq and Afghanistan.He loved to Bar B Q, he was a true Texan that's for sure. Cowboy boots and cowboy hat was a must whenever he was not wearing his Army uniform. He enjoyed going to Rudy's BarB Q when he came home on leave. His love for Bar B Q was found in Afghanistan, where he built a BarBQ pit out of discarded material so he and his men could enjoy eating Bar B Q meat whenever possible. He enjoyed fishing, camping and going on picnics with his family. He loved the outdoors and felt quite comfortable with the Texas heat. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, camping with his family, family life to him was very important, and while in Afghanistan was trying to learn to play the banjo. Little did he know he had a banjo here waiting for him. He was responding to the aid of twelve soldiers who came under heavy enemy fire. Twelve men were saved due to his heroic efforts. “No Man Left Behind” was something he always believed in, especially when serving his country. He received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Staff Sgt. Nelson D. Trent
Kandahar Province, Afghanistan
Lance Cpl. Bobby L. Twitty 20 Bedias
Cpl. Nicholas K. Uzenski 21 Tomball
He enlisted in January 2008, and his awards include the National Defense Service Medal, NATO Medal ISAF and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Cpl. Jorge Villarreal Jr. 22 San Antonio
Helmand Province, Afghanistan
He was an honors student at Kennedy High School. Friends and fellow classmates said he served as class treasurer, played football in a green and white uniform for the Rockets, and made the halls a friendlier place before graduating in 2006. He joined the Marines the next year, and the military said he had deployed to the western Pacific before serving in Afghanistan. He had that inner strength that people admire and respect.
1st Lt. Dustin D. Vincent 25 Mesquite
Kirkuk, Iraq 11-3-2011
Spc. Aaron J. Walker 23 Harker Heights
He was born March 21, 1984. He graduated from Hall High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. He is remembered for his wonderful smile, great sense of humor, enormous passion for life and his unending love for family and country. He is mostly remembered for his love and service to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Sgt. Joshua A. Ward 30 Needville
He received a football scholarship to Texas A&M-Blinn College, but a car accident that shattered his elbow prevented him from going.
1st Lt. Robert F. Welch III 26 Denton
FOB Salerno, Afghanistan
Spc. Christopher J. West 26 Arlington
In 2000, he graduated magna cum laude from Bowie High School, Arlington, Texas, where he was a member of the soccer team. He also attended Sam Houston High School, Arlington, Texas, where he played soccer and football. In 2004, he graduated cum laude with his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Marketing from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. After graduating from Texas A&M, Christopher was considering admission to law school, but was drawn to the military which seemed to be his "calling." He was thinking about making the Army his career. He came from a 4th-generation military family.
Spc. Tracy C. Willis 21 Marshall
He was a 2004 graduate of O'Connor High School where he enjoyed playing football and ran track. He then went on to East Texas Baptist University in Marshall where he was also able to play football.
Sgt. Leston M. Winters 30 Sour Lake
Kandahar Province, Afghanistan
Spc. Charles J. Wren 25 Hondo (Beeville)
He worked two years at a state prison unit in Beeville before joining the Army. His nicknamed Chaz. He and his brothers had a tough time growing up after the deaths of their parents, who each succumbed to illnesses just 18 months apart when he was in elementary school. He was raised by his grandmother in Hondo, where Wren attended Hondo High School before going to work for the state prison system. He was a correctional officer at the Garza West Unit in Beeville from January 2006 to March 2008, according to Texas Department of Criminal Justice records. Joining the Army,was something that Chaz probably felt like he was always called to do. He was very good at it. He had a lot of guts. He didn't have the ideal childhood, but his grandmother did the best she could, and he loved her. He made something positive out of his life. He received the Purple Heart, and the Bronze Star, awarded for bravery. Wren had hurt his knees and taken shrapnel wounds to the face, and was surprised when the Army redeployed him last month.