Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Afghanistan war a family affair for many: a tradition and tragedy

July 3, 2011 |  8:42 am


Without a draft, the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are being fought by those who volunteered for military service and often come from families where military service is a tradition.

In the Marine Corps, the son of a general was killed in Sangin, Afghanistan. The son of another general has just returned from deployment in Afghanistan. During the street battle in Marjah, a Marine sergeant major and his son were fighting on adjacent blocks.

To the list of families who have served and sacrificed, add the Hills of Poway in northern San Diego County.

Charles Hill, a former Marine, had two sons serving in Helmand province, the Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan: Lance Cpls. Aaron and Jason Hill.

When Charles Hill looked out the window and saw Marines coming to his door one afternoon, Hill had only one question: "Which one?"

A third son is waiting to enlist.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Charles Hill with a memorial to his son who was killed in Afghanistan, and his son's friend, Amanda Vaughn, who has had his name tattooed on her arm in his memory. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times