Newspapers and magazines are full of lists of the year's departed celebrities, their obituaries packed with details about their on-screen appearances, love affairs and marriages, cover photos and awards.
This is not that list.
"We Remember Them" is a compilation of 2008's "I Got the News Today" diaries, tributes to American service members who died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When you click on the links, you'll find their stories--the details that their teachers and friends remember, the last phone calls home to parents, their MySpace messages to loved ones. These are not numbers or abstractions. They were here. Their lives mattered.
If you are new to the series, please click on a date and read about a few of these lives. If you have been with us this year, please know how much your presence, witnessing and condolences mean. To the team--a special thank you for your constant and compassionate efforts.
As we did last year, we have chosen "We Remember Them," by Rabbis Sylvan Kamens and Jack Riemer, to help us reflect on these losses. Thank you for being here tonight to remember.
Please also visit Part 1 of this diary.
This list also includes service members from the war in Vietnam whose remains were identified and returned home in 2008.
|As long as we live, they too will live|
For they are now a part of us as
We remember them.
1 Sgt. 1st Class Joseph A. McKay, 51, of Brooklyn, NY; Sgt. 1st Class Matthew L. Hilton, 37, of Livonia, MI; Spc. Mark C. Palmateer, 38, of Poughkeepsie, NY; Staff Sgt. Travis K. Hunsberger, 24, of Goshen, IN
2 Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey M. Radamorales, 32, of Naranjito, Puerto Rico; Master Sgt. Shawn E. Simmons, 39, of Ashland, Mass.; Sgt. James M. Treber, 24, of Imperial Beach, Calif.; Staff Sgt. Edgar A. Heredia, 28, of Houston
5 Spc. Estell "Lee" Turner, 43, of Sioux Falls, S.D
9 Lt. Daniel Farkas, 42, of Brooklyn, NY; Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Lynn Woodham, 37, of Rogers, Ark.
12 Spc. William L. McMillan III, 22, of Lexington, Kentucky; Sgt. Douglas J. Bull, 29, of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania; Sgt. 1st Class Steven J. Chevalier, 35, of Flint, Michigan
13 Sgt. Alex R. Jimenez, 25 at the time of his capture, of Lawrence, Mass.; Pfc. Byron J. Fouty, 19 at the time of his capture, of Waterford, Mich.
15 Sgt. Brian Leon Guerrero, 34, of Hagatna, Guam; Spc. Samson Mora, 28, of Dededo, Guam
16 Master Sgt. Mitchell W. Young, 39, of Jonesboro, GA
19 Cpl. Jason D. Hovater, 24, of Clinton, Tennessee, Cpl. Matthew B. Phillips, 27, of Jasper, Georgia, Cpl. Pruitt A. Rainey, 22, of Haw River, North Carolina, Cpl. Gunnar W. Zwilling, 20, of Florissant, Missouri, and Pfc. Sergio S. Abad, 21, of Morganfield, Kentucky
20, first diary 1st Lt. Jonathan P. Brostrom, 24, of Hawaii; Sgt. Israel Garcia, 24, of Long Beach, Calif.; Cpl. Jonathan R. Ayers, 24, of Snellville, GA; Cpl. Jason M. Bogar, 25, of Seattle, Wash.
20, second diary Staff Sgt. Jeremy D. Vrooman, 28, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Staff Sgt. David W. Textor, 27, of Roanoke, Virginia; Lance Cpl. Jeffery S. Stevenson, 20, of Newton, New Jersey; Tech. Sgt. Jackie L. Larsen, 37, of Tacoma, Washington
21 1st Lt. Jason D. Mann, 29, of Woodlynne, N.J.; Aviation Boatswain Mate Third Class Petty Officer (ABE3) Daniel R. Verbeke, 25, of Exton, Penn.; Pfc. Willington M. Rhoads, 23, of Las Vegas, Nev.
"Prior to his death, Lt. Mann rushed to the site of a crashed helicopter and pulled the pilot to safety, in spite of the threat of an explosion due to spilling fuel."
|When we are weary and in need of strength|
We remember them.
1 Staff Sgt. Faoa L. Apineru, 31, of Yorba Linda, California
2 Sgt. James A. McHale, 31, of Fairfield, Montana
6, first diary Sgt. Ryan P. Baumann, 24, of Great Mills, Maryland; Spc. Andre D. Mitchell, 25, of Elmont, New York; Pfc. Jennifer L. Cole, 34, of American Canyon, California; Spc. Kevin R. Dickson, 21, of Steelville, Missouri
6, second diary Pfc. David J. Badie, 23, of Rockford, Illinois; 2nd Lt. Michael R. Girdano, 23, of Apollo, Pennsylvania; Spc. William J. Mulvihill, 20, of Leavenworth, Kansas; Pvt. Jair De Jesus Garcia, 29, of Chatsworth, California
7 Sgt. Jaime Gonzalez, Jr., 40, of Austin, Texas; Staff Sgt. Brian K. Miller, 37, of Pendleton, Indiana
8 Sgt. Gary M. Henry, 34, of Indianapolis, Indiana; Spc. Jonathan D. Menke, 22, Madison, Indiana
12, first diary Sgt. Errol M. James, 29, of St. Croix, Virgin Islands; Spc. Ronald A. Schmidt, 18, of Newton, Kansas; Pvt. Timothy J. Hutton, 21, of Dillon, Montana; Capt. Garrett T. Lawton, 31, of Charleston, West Virginia
12, second diary Petty Officer Second Class Anthony M. Carbullido, 25, Guam; Master Sergeant Danny E. Maybin, 47, of Columbia, South Carolina
13 Sgt. Jose E. Ulloa, 23, of New York, New York; Sgt. Kenneth B. Gibson, 25, of Christiansburg, Virginia; Pvt. John A. Mattox, 23, of Daingerfield, Texas
14 Cpl. Adam T. McKiski, 21, of Cherry Valley, Illinois Cpl. Stewart S. Trejo, 25, of Whitefish, Montana
16 Sgt. Michael H. Ferschke Jr., 22, of Maryville, Tennessee Cpl. James M. Hale, 23, of Naperville, Illinois
Two weeks before his first daughter was born, James Hale boarded a plane back to Iraq. His wife, Jessica ~ his high school sweetheart ~ had pleaded with his commander to let him stay a little longer for the birth of their third child. Cpl. Hale never held the daughter who was just five weeks old at the time of his death.
17 Pfc. Daniel A.C. McGuire, 19, of Mashpee, Massachusetts
20 Cpl. Anthony G. Mihalo, 23, of Naperville, Illinois; Lance Cpl. Juan Lopez-Castaneda, 19, of Mesa, Arizona; Lance Cpl. Jacob J. Toves, 27, of Grover Beach, California
21 Pfc. Jonathon L. Luscher, 20, of Scranton, Pennsylvania; Pvt. Janelle F. King, 23, of Merced, California; Staff Sgt. Kristopher D. Rodgers, 29, of Sturgis, Michigan; 1st Lt. Donald C. Carwile, 29, of Oxford, Mississippi; Pfc. Paul E. Conlon Jr., 21, of Somerville, Massachusetts
23 Lance Cpl. Travis M. Stottlemyer, 20, of Hatfield, Pennsylvania
24 Sgt. 1st Class David J. Todd Jr., 36, of Marrero, Louisiana; Sgt. 1st Class George Stanciel, 40, of Greenwood, Mississippi; Sgt. Nickolas Lee Hopper, 27, of Montrose, Illinois
27 Staff Sgt. David L. Paquet, 26, of Rising Sun, Maryland
|When we are lost and sick at heart|
We remember them.
1 Spc. Michael L. Gonzalez, 20, of Spotswood, N.J.; Sgt. David K. Cooper, 25, of Williamsburg, Ky.; Pfc Tan Q. Ngo, 20, of Beaverton, Ore.
4 Spc. Steven J. Fitzmorris, 26, of Columbia, Missouri; Spc. Carlo E. Alfonso, 23, of Spokane, Wash.; Spc. Jorge L. Feliz Nieve, 26, of Queens Village, N.Y.; Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Harris, 36, of Lexington, N.C.
7 Sgt. 1st Class Gregory A. Rodriguez, 35, of Weidman, Mich.; Pfc. Patrick W. May, 22, of Jamestown, New York
13 Capt. Jesse Melton III, 29, of Randallstown, Md.; 1st Lt. Nicholas A. Madrazo, 25, of Bothell, Wash.Staff Sgt. Kenneth W. Mayne, 29, of Fort Benning, Ga.; Pfc. Bryan R. Thomas, 22, of Battle Creek, Mich.; Pvt. Vincent C. Winston Jr., 22, of St. Louis, Mo.; Pvt. Jordan P. P. Thibeault, 22, of South Jordan, Utah; Pvt. Michael R. Dinterman, 18, of Littlestown, Pa.
15 Chief Petty Officer (select) Jason Richard Freiwald, 30, of Armada, Mich.; Senior Chief Petty Officer John Wayne Marcum, 34, of Flushing, Mich.
17 Spc. Marques I. Knight, 24, of San Juan Capistrano, Calif.; Sgt. 1st Class Daniel R. Sexton, 53, of Wentzville, Mo.; Chief Warrant Officer Michael Slebodnik, 39, of Gibsonia, Pa.; Staff Sgt. Darris J. Dawson, 24, of Pensacola, Fla.; Sgt. Wesley R. Durbin, 26, of Hurst, Texas
18 Lt. Col. Ralph J. Marino Jr., 46, of Houston, Pennsylvania; Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Eichmann A. Strickland, 23, of Arlington, Washington; Pvt. Michael W. Murdock, 22, of Chocowinity, N.C.
21 Pfc. Leonard J. Gulczynski, 19, of Carol Stream, Illinois; Capt. Darrick D. Wright, 37, of Nashville, Tennessee
Brig Gen Jeffery W. Talley said of Capt. Darrick Wright, "He was devoted to his mission, his comrades, the reconstruction of Iraq, most of all he was devoted to his wife, Katina and his family back in Nashville. He was enthusiastically anticipating the birth of their first child in November." Katina received her first letter from Darrick the day she received the news of his death.
23 Chief Warrant Officer Corry A. Edwards, 38, of Kennedale, Texas; 1st Lt. Robert Vallejo II, 28, of Richland Hills, Texas; Sgt. Anthony L. Mason, 37, of Springtown, Texas; 1st Sgt. Julio C. Ordonez, 54, of San Antonio, Texas; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brady J. Rudolf, 37, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Cpl. Michael E. Thompson, 23, of Harrah, Oklahoma; Sgt. Daniel M. Eshbaugh, 43, of Norman, Oklahoma
24 Lt. Col. James L. Wiley, 46, of North Bend, Ore.; Staff Sgt. Brandon W. Farley, 30, of Grand Prairie, Texas; Sgt. Jerome C. Bell Jr., 29, of Auburn, N.Y.; Staff Sgt. Nathan M. Cox, 32, of Walcott, Iowa; Pvt. Joseph F. Gonzales, 18, of Tucson, Ariz.; Maj. Rodolfo I. Rodriguez, 34, of El Paso, Texas
25 Sgt. Joshua W. Harris, 21, of Romeoville, Ill.; Capt. Bruce E. Hays, 42, of Cheyenne, Wyo.; 1st Lt. Mohsin A. Naqvi, 26, of Newburgh, N.Y.; Staff Sgt. Jason A. Vazquez, 24, of Chicago, Ill.; Cryptologic Technician Third Class Petty Officer Matthew J. O’Bryant, 22, of Duluth, Ga.
28 Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Taylor, 25, of Charleston, S.C.; Capt. Bruno G. Desolenni, 32, of Crescent City, Calif.; Chaplain (Col.) Sidney J. Marceaux Jr., 69, of Beaumont, Texas; 1st Lt. Thomas J. Brown, 26, of Burke, Va.
|When we have joy we crave to share|
We remember them.
1 Cpt. Michael J. Medders, 25, of Ohio; Staff Sgt. Ronald Phillips Jr., 33, of Conway, S.C.; Pfc. Jamel A. Bryant, 22, of Belleville, Ill.; Sgt. William E. Hasenflu, 38, of Bradenton, Fla.
3 Spc. Christopher T. Fox, 21, of Memphis, Tenn.; Capt. Richard G. Cliff Jr., 29, of Mount Pleasant, S.C.; Sgt. 1st Class Jamie S. Nicholas, 32, of Maysel, W.Va.; Sgt. 1st Class Gary J. Vasquez, 33, of Round Lake, Ill.
5 Pfc. Christopher A. Bartkiewicz, 25, of Dunfermline, Ill.
8 Spc. Jason E. von Zerneck, 33, of Charlotte, N.C.; Pfc. Tavarus D. Setzler, 23, of Jacksonville, Fla.; Sgt. William P. Rudd, 27, of Madisonville, Ky.
12 Cpl. Jason A. Karella, 20, of Anchorage, Alaska; Col. Michael R. Stahlman, 45, of Chevy Chase, Md.
17 Sgt. Michael K. Clark, 24, of Sacramento, California; Cpl. Scott G. Dimond, 39, of Franklin, New Hampshire
18 Sgt. Reuben M. Fernandez III, 22, of Abilene, Texas; Spc. Geoffrey G. Johnson, 28, of Lubbock, Texas
19 Sgt. John M. Penich, 25, of Beach Park, Ill.
21 Pfc. Christopher A. McCraw, 23, of Columbia, Mississippi; Spc. Cory J. Bertrand, 18, of Center, Texas; Spc. Stephen R. Fortunato, 25, of Danvers, Massachusetts; Sgt. Preston R. Medley, 23, of Baker, Florida
22 Sgt. Federico G. Borjas, 33, of San Diego, Calif.
23 Capt. Robert D. Lindenau, 39, of Camano Island, Wash.; Pfc. Heath K. Pickard, 21, of Palestine, Texas; Spc. Justin A. Saint, 22, of Albertville, Ala.
25 Lance Cpl. Stacy Ann ("Annie") Dryden, 22, of North Canton, Ohio
Lance Cpl. Stacy Ann "Annie" Dryden's unit knew her as their "fiery angel," said her cousin, Midge King, "because she was so sweet looking and she was a sweet girl, unless you got on her bad side. "Annie" loved being a Marine, and she loved her comrades. To lift their spirits, she would sing for them. "A beautiful light amidst all the darkness of war," said one Marine mother.
26 Staff Sgt. Brian P. Hause, 29, of Stoystown, Pa.; Spc. Deon L. Taylor, 30, of Bronx, N.Y.; Cpl. Adrian Robles, 21, of Scottsbluff, Neb.; Lance Cpl. San Sim, 23, of Santa Ana, Calif.
28 Pfc. Cody J. Eggleston, 21, of Eugene, Ore.
30 Sgt. Nicholas A. Casey, 22, of Canton, Ohio; Sgt. Kevin D. Grieco, 35, of Bartlett, Ill.
31 1st Lt. Trevor Yurista 32, of Hudson Valley, N.Y.
|When we have decisions that are difficult to make|
We remember them.
2 Sgt. Scott J. Metcalf, 36, of Framingham, Mass.
6 Pfc. Bradley S. Coleman, 24, of Martinsville, Va.
12 Private First Class Theron V. Hobbs, 22, of Albany, Georgia; Staff Sergeant Timothy H. Walker, 38, of Franklin, Tenn.
16 Spc. Armando A. De La Paz, 21, of Riverside, Calif.; Sgt. Jose Regalado, 23, of Los Angeles, Calif.; Spc. Corey M. Shea, 21, of Mansfield, Mass.; Spc. James M. Clay, 25, of Mountain Home, Ark.
19 Chief Warrant Officer Donald V. Clark, 37, of Memphis, Tenn.; Chief Warrant Officer Christian P. Humphreys, 28, of Fallon, Nev.
20 Cpl. Aaron M. Allen, 24, of Buellton, Calif.
26 Sergeant First Class Miguel A. Wilson, 36, of Fort Hood, Texas; Private Charles Y. Barnett, 19, of Bel Air, Maryland; Gunnery Sergeant Marcelo R. Velasco, 40, of Miami, Fla.
28 1st Lt. William K. Jernigan, 35, of Doraville, Ga.; Capt. Warren A. Frank, 26, of Cincinnati, Ohio
Capt. Warren A. Frank's men loved him: "He was the Lt. that every Marine wanted, for his leadership, his honor, his pride, his mission accomplishment, and most of all for his ability to see beyond the rank...Capt Frank was not the kind of Officer that i saluted his rank, I am proud to say I saluted the man."
30 Master Sgt. Anthony Davis, 43, of Triangle, Virginia
|When we have achievements that are based on theirs|
We remember them.
When we fulfill their dreams, and our own,
We remember them.
5 Capt. Robert J. Yllescas, 31, of Lincoln, Neb.
11 Staff Sgt. Solomon T. Sam, 31, of Majuro, Marshall Islands, Sgt. John J. Savage, 26, of Weatherford, Texas
25 Pvt. Colman J. Meadows III, 19, of Senoia, Ga., Staff Sgt. Jonathan W. Dean, 25, of Henagar, Ala., Pfc. Coleman W. Hinkefent, 19, of Coweta, Okla.
27 Lance Cpl. Thomas Reilly Jr., 19, of London, Ky.
Philadelphia trauma surgeon and Army reservist Major John P. Pryor "was compelled to help people," his brother said. "He said he didn't know how he could sit here, eating a hamburger and drinking a beer, when there were kids over there being shot, and he could help them," a fellow trauma surgeon said.
29 Staff Sgt. Christopher G. Smith, 28, of Grand Rapids, Mich.; Spc. Stephen M. Okray, 21, of St. Clair Shores, Mich.; Spc. Stephen G. Zapasnik, 19, of Broken Arrow, Okla.; Maj. John P. Pryor, 42, of Moorestown, N.J.
30 Master-at-Arms Seaman Apprentice Joshua D. Seitz, 19, of Sinking Springs, Pa.
|As long as we live, they too will live:|
For they are now a part of us,
As we remember them.
Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members chronicled here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.