Californian dies in Afghanistan war
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:
"Billy was our medic when he was injured. He was a wonderful person, and not a day goes by that I don't think of him or that fateful day."
— SFC Webb, posted Wednesday, on Army Corporal Billy Gomez, 25, of Perris who died October 27, 2004 in Germany one week after his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in Naka, Afghanistan. He was the youngest of triplets. His brothers were also serving in the Army at the time he was killed.
"Ray, I'll always remember you. I'll always remember the good times in High School, talking to each other to no end about becoming Marines. Watching you go to boot camp before me, watching you come back, walking tall, finally a US Marine.
Semper Fi, and Fraetr Pro Vita, Ray. "
— LCPL Paul Millis, posted Tuesday, on Marine Lance Cpl. Ray S. Spencer II, 20, of Ridgecrest, who died April 16, 2009, in a nonhostile incident in Anbar province, Iraq.
"Bruno passed away one year ago today. He was a GREAT man and a great friend. Today, here in Iraq, five of us who were friends with him met for a breakfast in memory of Recon DeSo. I miss him dearly and wish he was still here with us. I posted two of his photo's today at our HQ building to remind us all of the sacrifice he made. DeSo, you are not forgotten by us and never will be!!!"
— Reconnaissance Ranger, posted Sunday on Army National Guard Capt. Bruno G. De Solenni, 32, of Crescent City who died Sept. 20, 2008, when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
"James was my nephew my sisters 1st born son. The first boy in a family of all girls. I respect his choices to serve our country and fight for all of our rights to be free. He will always be honored and remembered as a hero not just for his military actions but for the loving, caring, genuine young man that he had become. We will love and miss you forever..."
— Anjie Cox, posted Sunday on Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class James R. Layton, 22, of Riverbank who died Sept. 8, 2009, while supporting combat operations in Kunar province, Afghanistan.