Remembering California's war dead
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:
"You never failed to make me laugh, I wish I had more time. I wish I would have written you like I said I would. I wish I would have taken that extra time to see you, made the excuse, broken curfew, said screw the rest.
You don't realize what a good friend someone is until they're gone. I'm so glad you were in my life, we all miss you."
-- Audrey M. posted Thursday on Army Specialist Jonathan D. Welch, 19, of Yorba Linda. Welch was one of two soldiers killed Aug. 31, 2009, when a roadside bomb exploded near his unit in Shuyene Sufia in southern Afghanistan’s Kandahar. province.
"Daniel Lim -- I knew you for a short period while you were with me at Bravo 232 Med Bn. I had good times with you along with our fellow comrades. I could tell you had a big heart and cared about what you were doing. I will always remember our convos on the company benches and the advice you gave me. You were a great friend! YOU WILL BE MISSED AND ALWAYS REMEMBERED!! RIP BRO!!!"
-- PFC Ramirez posted Wednesday on Army Sergeant Daniel Lim, 23, of Cypress. Lim was one of four soldiers killed, July 24, 2010, when insurgents attacked their military vehicle with an improvised explosive device in Qalat, Afghanistan.
“JR. I MISS YOU SOO MUCH. I know you're in a better place now and we will always have you in our hearts. I will never forget the last thing you told me and the fun and happy trip that all the cousins took to six flags. I miss you so much. and i hope to have the honor of seeing you again. I love you cousin.”
— Stephanie Vasquez posted Wednesday on Army Sergeant Andres J. Contreras, 23, of Huntington Park. Contreras was killed July 15, 2006, by a roadside bomb in Baghdad.
“I knew SFC Rudy Salcido pretty well. We met in 2001 when he arrived to my unit in Germany. We were privates at that time and we would compete to see who would make E-5 first. (He won). Rudy stood out to me the first day I laid eyes on him. We shared a lot of good times together. We deployed at the same time. He was the model soldier. True and genuine at heart, a natural born leader and very well liked. Dedicated, motivated, professional and well balanced. His energy easily rubbed off on others. I get angry sometimes when I think of what happened to him. Hero is such an understatement to me when describing this man. Rudy, I can never say the words I miss you out loud without shedding a tear. Your memory lives.”
— Angela Mernatti posted Tuesday on Army National Guard Sergeant Rudy A. Salcido, 31, of La Puente. Salcido was killed Nov. 9, 2006, by a roadside bomb in Baghdad.
“Tomorrow will be one year since Corporal Patino left this earth. We all miss him and think about him every day. These messages above all reflect what an amazing person Claudio was and how he had a way of making everyone around him happy and feeling very special. I will never forget our last hug Claudio and I will continue to honor you by leaving you the Marine Corps and U.S. flag at your gravesite. Rest in peace brave warrior. You will never be forgotten.”
— Nancy Lopez posted Tuesday on Marine Corporal Claudio Patino IV, 22, of Yorba Linda. Patino was killed June 22, 2010 by small-arms fire, while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan's Helmand province.
Readers are invited to share memories about the fallen soldiers on the California's War Dead database which chronicles the lives of more than 600 Californians who have died while supporting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.