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The faces of US soldiers killed in Iraq

AFP | July 6, 2005

More than two US soldiers were killed every day day in June in Iraq; most were under 25 years of age and they came from all over the United States, according to information provided by the Pentagon.

A casualty toll summed up by AFP from US defense department data established that 77 American soldiers lost their lives in Iraq in June.

In the same month, 23 US soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, 16 of whom perished in a helicopter shot down by enemy fire.

Almost daily, the Pentagon makes public the names, ages, ranks and birthplaces of US soldiers killed in Iraq, including the dates and places and circumstances of their deaths.

Of the 77 servicemen and women who died in June, 48 or 62 percent, were aged 25 or younger.

The youngest soldiers killed were 18.

One was Jonathan Flores, from San Antonio, Texas. He was killed on June 15 along with three comrades when their vehicle struck a booby trap in combat near Ramadi, west of Baghdad.

Another was Christopher Kilpatrick, from Columbus, Texas. He was killed on June 20 at Tal Afar, northern Iraq, when his convoy came under enemy fire.

The oldest casualty was 46. He was Sergeant Larry Arnold, from Carriere, Mississippi, who was killed June 11 in Owesat, along with a comrade when their armored vehicle went over a land mine.

An analysis of the soldiers killed in June shows they came from all four corners of the United States: north (Wisconsin, Michigan), south (Texas, Louisiana), east (New York, Pennsylvania) and west (California, Colorado).

The came from big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Las Vegas and Dallas, as well as from towns like Whitehouse, Kentucky; Cranston, Rhode Island; Danielson, Connecticut; or Pontotoc, Mississippi.

Most died in combat against insurgent forces in Ramadi, Fallujah, Ar Rutbah and in the Al Anbar province.

Many were killed when their vehicles went over booby traps or came under automatic fire. A few were killed in non-combat-related circumstances.

The ethnic makeup of the June fatalities was not provided by the defense department, but many of the names among those killed in June -- Ramona Valdez, Carlos Pineda, Roberto Arizola -- appear to be Hispanic.

Last year, The Washington Post daily conducted a survey among Hispanics, 30 percent of whom believed their community was paying too heavy a toll for the war.

A breakdown provided by the Pentagon in January showed that 11.6 percent of US military fatalities were Hispanic, when they group made up only nine percent of all members of the armed forces.


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