Opinion & Blogs » Back Page

Remembering the Fallen


Two more Americans just died in Iraq. The newscaster usually reports it that way — “two Americans died” one day, “one American soldier killed, another wounded” the next. Three days after the bodies have been identified and, presumably, after families are told, the Department of Defense will post their names to the DOD Web site.

It’s odd that even when the names of our war dead are released, media are not reporting them. Digging into CNN’s site provides one list (www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2003/iraq/forces/casualties) with name, military unit, hometown, date and cause of death. My interest has deepened lately, because it’s likely that my nephew soon will be in Iraq or Afghanistan; he’s a recently minted second lieutenant with many years of service as an NCO in the Rangers. Our family is proud of his service, but we also grieved when one of his good friends, Master Sgt. Andy Fernandez, died in combat April 2. During “major combat operations” our media covered in some detail the deaths of our servicemen and women in Iraq. The president has put aside the flight gear in which he declared major combat over. But the deaths in Iraq continue: 58 and counting “from hostile action” between May1 and Aug.13. The total number of U.S. service persons who have died from combat and other causes in this war is 267.

For those who wish to acknowledge and respect the dead, I’ve prepared a list of British and Americans who have died since May 1 in Iraq or Kuwait. These 134 men and one woman, from towns with names like Independence and Enterprise, died by grenades, in firefights and traffic accidents, by snipers’ bullets while directing traffic, during training accidents and friendly fire, by land mines and, in a few cases, from natural causes:

Cpl. Evan Asa Ashcraft, West Hills, California

Cpl. Russell Aston, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, England

Lt. Col. Dominic R. Baragona, Niles, Ohio

Spc. Jonathan P. Barnes, Anderson, Missouri

Spc. Joel L. Bertoldie, Independence, Missouri

Cpl. Mark A. Bibby, Watha, North Carolina

Sgt. 1st Class Craig A. Boling, Elkhart, Indiana

Petty Officer 3rd Class Doyle W. Bollinger Jr., Poteau, Oklahoma

Cpl. Travis J. Bradach-Nall, Multnomah County, Oregon

Staff Sgt. Kenneth R. Bradley, Utica, Mississippi

Sgt. Thomas F. Broomhead, Cannon City, Colorado

Pfc. Timmy R. Brown Jr., Conway, Pennsylvania

Lance Cpl. Cedric E. Bruns, Vancouver, Washington

Sgt. Travis L. Burkhardt, Edina, Missouri

Pvt. Matthew D. Bush, East Alton, Illinois

Capt. Joshua T. Byers, Nevada

Spc. Nathaniel A. Caldwell, Omaha, Nebraska

Cpl. Richard P. Carl, King Hill, Idaho

Capt. Paul J. Cassidy, Laingsburg, Michigan

Pfc. Jonathan M. Cheatham, Camden, Arkansas

Spc. Andrew F. Chris, California

Spc. Brett T. Christian, North Royalton, Ohio

1st Sgt. Christopher D. Coffin, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Spc. Zeferino E. Colunga, Bellville, Texas

Sgt. Timothy M. Conneway, Enterprise, Alabama

Pfc. Ryan R. Cox, Derby, Kansas

Sgt.Michael T. Crockett, Soperton, Georgia

Pvt. Jason L. Deibler, Coeburn, Virginia

Pfc. Michael R. Deuel, Nemo, South Dakota

Pvt. Michael J. Deutsch, Dubuque, Iowa

Sgt. Michael E. Dooley, Pulaski, Virginia

Pfc. David Evans Jr., no home given

Spc. Jon P. Fettig, Dickinson, North Dakota

Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr., Guilford, Connecticut

Pvt. Robert L. Frantz, San Antonio, Texas

Sgt. 1st Class Dan H. Gabrielson, Spooner, Wisconsin

Sgt. Justin W. Garvey, Townsend, Massachusetts

Lance Cpl. Cory Ryan Geurin, Santee, California

Pvt. Kyle C. Gilbert, Brattleboro, Vermont

Spc. Michael T. Gleason, Warren, Pennsylvania

Spc. Kyle A. Griffin, Emerson, New Jersey

Staff Sgt. Patrick Lee Griffin Jr., Elgin, South Carolina

Chief Warrant Officer Hans N. Gukeisen, Lead, South Dakota

Pvt. Jesse M. Halling, Indianapolis, Indiana

Sgt. Simon Alexander Hamilton-Jewell, Chessington, Surrey, England

Sgt. Atanacio Haromarin, Baldwin Park, California

Sgt. Nathaniel Hart Jr., Valdosta, Georgia

Spc. Justin W. Hebert, Arlington, Washington

Pfc. Raheen Tyson Heighter, Bay Shore, New York

Staff Sgt. Brian R. Hellerman, Freeport, Minnesota

Edward J. Herrgott, Shakopee, Minnesota

Spc. Corey A. Hubbell, Urbana, Illinois

Lance Cpl. Benjamin John McGowan Hyde, Northallerton, Yorkshire, England

Sgt. Jason D. Jordan, Elba, Alabama

Spc. Chad L. Keith, Batesville, Indiana

Pvt. Andrew Joseph Kelly, Tavistock, Devon, England

Lance Cpl. Thomas Richard Keys, Llanuwchllyn, Wales

Spc. Levi B. Kinchen, Tickfaw, Louisiana

Lance Cpl. Nicholas Brian Kleiboeker, Irvington, Illinois

Spc. John K. Klinesmith Jr., Stockbridge, Georgia

Sgt. Floyd G. Knighten Jr., Olla, Louisiana

Lance Cpl. Jakub Henryk Kowalik, Schaumburg, Illinois

Spc. James I. Lambert III, Raleigh, North Carolina

Sgt. Jonathan W. Lambert, Newsite, Mississippi

Staff Sgt. William T. Latham, Kingman, Arizona

Spc. Cedric L. Lennon, West Blocton, Alabama

Spc. Farao K. Letufuga, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Capt. James Linton, England

Cpl. Paul Graham Long, Colchester, Essex, England

Spc. Zachariah W. Long, Milton, Pennsylvania

Pfc. Duane E. Longstreth, Tacoma, Washington

Staff Sgt. David L. Loyd, Jackson, Tennessee

Lance Cpl. Gregory E. MacDonald, Washington, D.C.

Spc. William J. Maher III, Yardley, Pennsylvania

Cpl. Douglas Jose Marencoreyes, Chino, California

Pvt. Robert L. McKinley, Kokomo, Indiana

Sgt. Heath A. McMillin, Canandaigua, New York

Sgt. Daniel K. Methvin, Belton, Texas

Cpl. Simon Miller, Tyne and Wear, England

Sgt. Keman L. Mitchell, Hilliard, Florida

Petty Officer 3rd Class David J. Moreno, Gering, Nebraska

Spc. Paul T. Nakamura, Santa Fe Springs, California

Pvt. Kenneth A. Nalley, Hamburg, Iowa

Pfc. Gavin L. Neighbor, Somerset, Ohio

Spc. Joshua M. Neusche, Montreal, Missouri

1st Lt. Leif E. Nott, Cheyenne, Wyoming

Spc. David T. Nutt, Blackshear, Georgia

Pfc. Branden F. Oberleitner, Worthington, Ohio

Spc. Richard P. Orengo, Puerto Rico

Pfc. Kevin C. Ott, Columbus, Ohio

Pvt. Shawn D. Pahnke, Shelbyville, Indiana

Pfc. Daniel R. Parker, Lake Elsinore, California

Sgt. David B. Parson, Kannapolis, North Carolina

Master Sgt. William L. Payne, Otsego, Michigan

Staff Sgt. Hector R. Perez, Corpus Christi, Texas

Spc. Jose A. Perez III, San Diego, Texas

Pfc. Wilfredo Perez Jr., Norwalk, Connecticut

Staff Sgt. David S. Perry, Bakersfield, California

Staff Sgt. Brett J. Petriken, Omaha, Nebraska

Sgt. 1st Class Gladimir Philippe, Linden, New Jersey

Staff Sgt. Andrew R. Pokorny, Naperville, Illinois

Gunner Duncan Geoffrey Pritchard, Suffolk, England

Sgt. Jaror C. Puello-Coronado, Pocono Summit, Pennsylvania

Staff Sgt. Michael B. Quinn, Tampa, Florida

Pfc. Brandon Ramsey, Calumet City, Illinois

Spc. Ramon Reyes Torres, Caguas, Puerto Rico

Sgt. Sean C. Reynolds, East Lansing, Michigan

Pfc. Marlin T. Rockhold, Hamilton, Ohio

Pfc. Jose Francis Gonzalez Rodriguez, Norwalk, California

Sgt. Roger D. Rowe, Bon Aqua, Tennessee

1st Lt. Jonathan D. Rozier, Katy, Texas

1st Lt. Timothy Louis Ryan, Aurora, Illinois

Spc. Rasheed Sahib, Brooklyn, New York

Staff Sgt. Barry Sanford Sr., Aurora, Colorado

Maj. Mathew E. Schram, Wisconsin

Spc. Christian C. Schulz, Colleyville, Texas

Sgt. Juan M. Serrano, Manati, Puerto Rico

Sgt. Leonard D. Simmons, New Bern, North Carolina

Pfc. Corey L. Small, East Berlin, Pennsylvania

Pfc. Jeremiah D. Smith, Odessa, Missouri

Lance Cpl. Matthew R. Smith, Anderson, Indiana

Spc. Orenthial J. Smith, Allendale, South Carolina

Cpl. Tomas Sotelo Jr., Houston, Texas

Sgt. Kirk Allen Straseskie, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

Spc. Joseph D. Suell, Lufkin, Texas

Lance Cpl. Jason Andrew Tetrault, Moreno Valley, California

Sgt. Michael L. Tosto, Apex, North Carolina

Sgt. Melissa Valles, Eagle Pass, Texas

Chief Warrant Officer Brian K. Van Dusen, Columbus, Ohio

Spc. Jeffrey M. Wershow, Gainesville, Florida

Sgt. Mason Douglas Whetstone, Utah

Sgt. Taft V. Williams, New Orleans, Louisiana

Sgt. 1st Class Christopher R. Willoughby, Phenix City, Alabama

It was difficult to look at their photographs as I made my grim list. But it was also necessary.

We are enjoying our comfortable life because these people have died for us. While I’m not sleeping any better for the situation in Iraq, I do want to remember our men and women there, ready to do, and prevent, violence in my name. Our servicemen and women deserve more than a sound bite on the news, as do their families.

Gen. Tommy Franks states that we will be in Iraq for years, so I will keep my list of the dead on my door at work, so my students and colleagues may view our fallen as more than statistics. To those who have died or been wounded in Iraq, my thanks for their heroism and my vow to never forget. To the family of Andy Fernandez and others who have lost loved ones in this guerilla war, as well as to the unnamed families of the Iraqi dead, I send my prayers for peace. S

Joe Essid teaches English at the University of Richmond.

Opinions expressed on the Back Page are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Style Weekly.

Add a comment