Birth: December 12, 1983
Died: October 23, 2009 – Afghanistan
Spc Lembke was assigned to the 569th Mobility Augmentation Company, 4th Engineer Battalion, Fort Carson, Colorado. He died of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an IED. Life didn’t start out easy for Eric – a foster child who was adopted by his foster mother. He graduated in 2002 from Simmons Career Center of Plant City High School in Plant City, Florida. During his service he was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, and by being previously awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Combat Star , Iraq Campaign Medal with Combat Star, Global War on Terrorist Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and Combat Action Badge.
Burial: Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Florida – Section 605, Site 11
Birth: September 25, 1983 – Costa Rica
Died: April 20, 2004 – Tallil, Iraq
Pfc Harris Kelly was assigned to the 596th Maintenance Company, 3rd Corps Support Command, V Corps, Darmstadt, Germany. He was killed from chest injuries when his truck went off the road and rolled over because of limited visibility and dangerous driving conditions. Leroy came to this country when he was 3 years old and graduated in 2001 from Azusa High School in Azusa, California where he played basketball, the trumpet in the school band and was the honorary class clown. Leroy received the Bronze Star and Overseas Service ribbon posthumously.
Burial: Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Covina Hills, California
Died: October 18, 2009, Mosul, Iraq
Pfc Rivera was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. He died of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. Daniel was a 2005 graduate of Victor High School in Victor, New York where he played soccer and baseball.
Burial: Riverside Cemetery, Rochester, New York
Birth: May 20, 1989
Died: November 22, 2009 – Helmand province, Afghanistan
LCpl Hand was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He died when he encountered small arms fire while supporting combat operations. Nicholas graduated in December 2007 from Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Missouri.
Burial: Leavenworth National Cemetery, Section 48, Row 15, Site 1
Born: December 7, 1988 in Sycamore, Illinois
Died: September 11, 2009 in Landstuhl, Germany
Pfc. Matthew M. Martinek of DeKalb, Illinois graduated in 2007 from Bartlett High School in Bartlett, Illinois where he played on the football team and was well known for his outgoing personality. He died at age 20 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, of wounds sustained in Paktika province, Afghanistan, Sept. 4 when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised-explosive device followed by a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire. He leaves his mother, Cheryl Ferguson and father, Michael Martinek, and three brothers, Travis Wright, Frank Martinek and Michael Martinek Jr. His family was presented with a number of medals in his name, including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
501st Parachute Infantry Regiment
4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne)
25th Infantry Division
Fort Richardson, Alaska
Birth: October 10, 1974 – Yreka, California
Died: October 24, 2003 – Mosul, Iraq
Sgt Hancock was assigned to 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He was on guard duty in Mosul keeping watch over a grain storage silo. A group of Iraqis approached him and opened fire. He was evacuated to the 21st Combat Support Hospital and pronounced dead there. Michael joined the Army in 1993 after graduation from Yreka High School because it offered money for college. He planned to make the Army his career.
Birth: November 3, 1983 – Indianapolis, Indiana
Died: June 7, 2003 – Tikrit, Iraq
PFC Halling was assigned to the 401st Military Police Co., Ft. Hood, Texas. He was at his post at a military police station in Tikrit when his unit began taking small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. He was awarded a posthumous Purple Heart and has been nominated for a Silver Star, the Army’s third-highest medal for valor behind the Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross.
Burial: Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana
Birth: February 29, 1976 – Greeley, Colorado
Died: September 16, 2003 – Tel Afar, Iraq
Army Spc. Peterson was assigned to C Company, 311th Military Intelligence Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky. She died of a non-combat gunshot wound. The incident occurred near the northwest Iraqi town of Tel Afar, about 50 miles southwest of the Turkish border. Alyssa graduated from Northern Arizona University in May 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. During her time there, she also attended the Flagstaff Institute of Religion, a theological training center for members of the Mormon faith. Alyssa was an honor student, soccer player, artist, and devout Mormon. She was fluent in Dutch, then, she cruised through her Arabic courses at the military’s Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, shortly after enlisting in July 2001.
Burial: Citizens Cemetery, Flagstaff, Arizona
Birth: May 27, 1980 – Honolulu, Hawaii
Died: December 26, 2003 – Iraq
Spc Haight was assigned to the 14th Engineer Battalion, 555th Engineer Group, based in Fort Lewis, Washington, as a mechanic. He was killed in action while traveling in a convoy when his vehicle struck a makeshift bomb. He was a graduate of Pleasant Valley High School in Jacksonville, Alabama in 1998 where he played clarinet in the band and was a member of the football team. Following high school, he joined the Marine Corps Reserve and later joined the Army full time. He was eager to earn money for college, through the G.I. Bill, and fulfill his dream of becoming a nurse. When he went to Iraq, he carried her stuffed chipmunk with him.
Burial: Unknown, cremated
Born: August 13, 1982
Died: November 15, 2003 in Mosul, Iraq
Pfc. Richard W. Hafer of Cross Lanes, West Virginia attended Laurel Valley High School where the 6′ 5″, 275 pounder was a standout defensive lineman. In 2000, he was voted Lineman of the Year on the All-Gazette football squad. He was also an outstanding wrestler. After graduating in 2000, Rick moved to Nitro, West Virginia so he could be reunited with his half-sisters whom he adored. He enlisted in the United States Army and while serving overseas he was looking forward to a surprise trip to West Virginia for Christmas to see his sisters, and other family. Richard was killed at age 21 when two 101st Airborne Division UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters crashed in Mosul, Iraq. He was posthumously awarded, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
320th Field Artillery
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)
Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Burial is at Blairsville Cemetery in Blairsville, Pennsylvania