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Two Californians killed this week in Afghanistan

September 3, 2009 | 12:22 pm

Department of Defense officials on Wednesday announced the deaths of two Californians who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Army Specialist Tyler R. Walshe Army Spc. Tyler R. Walshe, 21, of Shasta died Monday in southern Afghanistan of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit.

Walshe joined the Army in October 2006, according to a news release from Ft. Lewis, Wash., where he had been based since March 2007. He deployed to Afghanistan with the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division in July 2009.

Army Specialist Jonathan D. Welch Army Spc. Jonathan D. Welch, 19, of Yorba Linda died Monday in Shuyene Sufia, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit.

Welch joined the Army in March 2007, according to a news release from Ft. Lewis, Wash., where he had been stationed since October 2007. He deployed to Afghanistan with the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division in July 2009.

August marked the third month in a row in which more Californians were killed serving in the war in Afghanistan than died in Iraq.

In all, military officials have reported the deaths of at least six Californians in Afghanistan last month, making it the deadliest month in that conflict for troops from this state since the war there began nearly eight years ago, according to data collected by The Times.

Since late 2001, The Times has chronicled the lives of military personnel who have died while serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their stories, photos, personal websites and additional material have been collected in the California's War Dead database. Readers are invited to leave memories of their loved ones and colleagues.

-- Maloy Moore

Here are some recent posts:

Marines "My wife and I wish to express our thanks for all of the kind words, thoughts and prayers from so many regarding the recent loss of our Son.
While his loss is horrific to his Mother, Sister and myself, we are comforted to know that he died in the Company of men he called brother, doing what he loved, and that he gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect the men he served with.
While I miss my son beyond all measure, I know that he has gone to a better place.
He stands next to his Grandfather, the old Gunny, at the bar at Tun Tavern, in the Company of other Fallen Marine Heroes.
I see him and the rest of the Marines doing what all Marines do when they come home. Drink Cold Beer, swap campaign stories and watch over all of us from a position of honor.
Semper Fi Donald, you are immortal and a better man than I am."

— Jim Hogan posted Tuesday on Marine Lance Cpl. Donald  J. Hogan, 20, of San Clemente who died Aug. 26, 2009, while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.


Army National Guard Sergeant Mike T. Sonoda Jr "Hey Mikey I think about you all the time man. I remember this one time we where doing some training on our first deployment to Kuwait, I was working with you on the SAW. We became cool friends that day. In Iraq, you where a hard working guy, and I admired that about you. I am glad that I got to share things with you."

— Fellow soldier posted Sunday on Army National Guard Sgt. Mike T. Sonoda Jr., 34, of Fallbrook who was killed Sept. 22, 2005, when a homemade bomb detonated near his armored personnel carrier in Baghdad.


Marine Lance Corporal Rogelio A. Ramirez "Every Sunday I put your picture and story out on a cross at Arlington West in Santa Monica. I do this for your mother who loves you."

— Kathy posted Friday on Marine Lance Cpl. Rogelio A. Ramirez, 21, of Pasadena who was killed Aug. 26, 2007, while on a convoy-security detail in Saqlawiya, Iraq.


Army National Guard Specialist Dennis L. Sellen Jr. "I remember dennis from elementary school and middle school. he was always an outstanding person and a good friend. his service to my country will always be remembered and he will always be missed."

— GM3 Brown, Jeffrey posted Tuesday on Army National Guard Spt. Dennis L. Sellen Jr., 20, of Newhall who died Feb. 11, 2007, in Umm Qasr, Iraq.


Marine Sergeant Zachariah S. Davis "I remember being new to the unit, and you taking all of us new guys in like we were younger brothers ... brought us to your house and introduced us to your family. You seemed so much older than me then, but as I looked at your picture on this site just now, I realized that when you died you were only 25. It was a shock because I'm 25 and I don't feel that old. You were incredibly strong, committed to the cause and to your Marines. I think about you all the time, and carry your dog tag on my key ring. I hope you know how much you mean to us all. We'll keep up the fight down here, Sergeant, so you just kick back and enjoy the show."
Semper Fi

— Wolfpack posted Saturday on Marine Sgt. Zachariah S. Davis, 25, of Twentynine Palms who was killed Jan. 6, 2005, by a roadside bomb in Al Anbar province, Iraq.