Central Valley Marine died last week in Afghanistan
Marine Lance Cpl. Alfonso Ochoa Jr., 20, of Armona, Calif., died Oct. 10 in Farah province, Afghanistan, while supporting combat operations. Defense Department officials announced his death today. No other details were immediately available.
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:
"I have great memories of SFC Gutierrez. I served with him when he was in HHC 2nd BDE, 1st ID. He would always show up with his trademark smile and joke about what the PT uniform of the day would be. He was a wonderful NCO and a great mentor. I can't remember anyone who didn't look up to him. The day still haunts me back in 2007 when I opened up the 'Army Times' and saw his picture... simply devastating."
— Sgt. Jesus S. Miranda posted Tuesday on Army Sgt. 1st Class Luis E. Gutierrez-Rosales, 38, of Bakersfield, who died July 18, 2007, in Adhamiya, Iraq. Gutierrez-Rosales was one of four soldiers killed when their vehicle was attacked by insurgents using an improvised explosive device and small-arms fire.
— Jaime Cornejo posted Monday on Army Pvt. Jair De Jesus Garcia, 29, of Porter Ranch, who died Aug. 1, 2008, in Chowkay Valley, Afghanistan. Garcia was among four soldiers killed when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb.
"I remember when I was younger, my cousin Jose always had a smile in his face. He was even silly. I'm saddened that he had to leave this world the way he did, but i believe that he is in heaven.. May he always be remembered as a favorite son, a loving brother, a best friend, a funny cousin, a good soldier, and most of all a son of God..."
"I come to this section of latimes.com on a regular basis to read bios of soldiers, so that I can put faces to the 'numbers'.. so that in some way I am paying my respects to those who sacrificed their lives. When I came across Jonathan's bio today, I was hit with a wave of sadness. I realize that he chose this road in life and I respect and appreciate it... but it still makes me sad to know that this young man was taken away so soon and away from his family. While I'm sure they are proud, I'm sure their hearts ache for him. I am emotional as I write this...and I didn't even know him. It just kills me that he was just a kid..... and he's gone now. I wish our soldiers could just come home...."
— Olivia posted Monday on Army Spc. Jonathan D. Welch, 19, of Yorba Linda, who died Aug. 31, 2009, when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device in Shuyene Sufia, Afghanistan.
"I was Louis' recruiter but more importantly, his friend. I miss him dearly. For those of us who knew him at his recruiting station, we will never forget the person who made us all laugh with and at him. He was the very best, and I will never get over the loss."
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