Saturday, October 30, 2004

Marine Sgt. Kelley L. Courtney

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Sgt. Kelley L. Courtney, 28, of Macon, Ga.

Sgt Courtney was assigned to 3rd Intelligence Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan; killed Oct 30, 2004 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

Georgia Marine warned of ‘hornets nest’ before death
Associated Press

MACON, Ga. — A Marine from Georgia who was among eight Marines killed in Iraq outside the city of Fallujah had confided to his brother that he was entering “a hornets nest,” The Macon Telegraph reported.

Sgt. Kelley Courtney, a counterintelligence officer, had been in Iraq about six weeks when a car bomb exploded next to his truck on Saturday.

Lance Cpl. Michael P. Scarborough, 28, of Washington, Ga., also was among the Marines killed Saturday.

“Don’t tell Mom, but I’m scared,” Courtney said in his last e-mail to his older brother, Joey Fernandez, in Macon. “We are about to stir up a hornets nest here shortly and I’m going to be right in the middle of it.”

Courtney apologized for any past disagreements with his brother, the newspaper reported in its Tuesday editions.

“I thought he was homesick,” Fernandez told The Telegraph. “But he knew that he was going to die.”

Courtney, 28, and his wife, Cindy, had been sweethearts since fourth grade. They were married in 1999 and had two children, Kellie Marie, 4, and Logan, 1. They all joined him in March when he was stationed in Japan. She will return to Macon this week after a memorial service in Okinawa.

Courtney dropped out of high school and completed his GED. He worked as a tire retreader and attended Central Georgia Technical College before enlisting in 1998.

Brother Donny Courtney, 26, joined the Marines days later, their mother, Gena Courtney, said. Donny is stationed in Maryland and does not expect to serve abroad, said his father, Bob Courtney.

Courtney wrote e-mails home as he traveled to Iraq from Okinawa. He read newspapers and Christian, Jewish and Muslim holy books, concluding that major religions shared basic truths twisted by extremists.

“So are we at war with an enemy? No,” he wrote. “We are at war with false prophets and... humans spreading death and lies throughout the earth.”

Courtney was sent to Fallujah for an alliance offensive against the Iraqi insurgents. A member of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Force, he carried only a handgun as he followed a combat company from Hawaii. He was to gather information and interrogate prisoners.

Gena and Cindy Courtney e-mailed each other Saturday night after learning that Marines had been killed in Iraq.

“I said, ‘We just have to pray,’ but I started crying and I could not stop,” Gena Courtney said.

Fernandez said he never believed his brother would be among those killed.

“We think: This is our turf. That is theirs. Like it’s so different,” he said. “But it’s really just a walk across the railroad tracks.”

Marine Sgt. Kelley L. Courtney was killed in action on 10/30/04.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Marine Cpl. Brian Oliveira

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Cpl. Brian Oliveira, 22, of Raynham, Mass.

Cpl Oliveira was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died Oct. 25, 2004 from injuries sustained in enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

Marine from Massachusetts killed in Iraq
Associated Press

BOSTON — Cpl. Brian Oliveira was killed in battle during his second deployment to Iraq, the Department of Defense said, leaving behind a 6-week-old baby boy he had met only in pictures.

“Brian was the most dedicated and proud Marine I ever met,” said Heather Bostrom, 20, a former girlfriend who remained a close friend. “It was his life.”

The Pentagon said Oliveira, 22, died Monday from injuries suffered during fighting in Iraq’s Anbar province. No further details were available.

Oliveira was a squad leader assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif. He left for his second tour of Iraq in May.

He joined the Marine Corps in January 2001 and received several medals, including the Combat Action Ribbon and the National Defense Service Medal.

Oliveira and his wife, who had made their home in San Diego, welcomed their son, Nathan, on Sept. 11. Oliveira originally was from Raynham

Oliveira’s parents, David Horseman and Lillian Oliveira, and a sister, Carolyn Horseman, all live in Fall River.

Marine Cpl. Brian Oliveira was killed in action on 10/25/04.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Army Sgt. Michael G. Owen

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Michael G. Owen, 31, of Phoenix

Sgt Owen was assigned to the 9th Psychological Operations Battalion, 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.; killed Oct. 15 when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Karabilah, Iraq. Also killed was Spc. Jonathan J. Santos.

Arizona soldier killed in Iraq
Associated Press

PHOENIX — A soldier from Phoenix has become the latest service member Arizona ties to be killed in Iraq.

Sgt. Michael G. Owen, 31, died last week in a car-bomb explosion in a town near the Syrian border, the Pentagon said Monday.

Owen was killed Friday along with another psychological operations soldiers from Fort Bragg, N.C. — Spc. Jonathan J. Santos, 22, of Bellingham, Wash.

Their vehicle was attacked “while conducting vehicle-mounted loudspeaker operations with the 1st Marine Division,” according to a statement from the Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg.

Owen was the leader and Santos was a member of a three-man team. The third member was wounded in the attack, the special operations command said.

Owen and Santos were sent to Haiti last March in support of a U.S.-led interim force deployed to calm the violence that led to the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Both soldiers were deployed to Iraq in September.

Owen joined the Army in 1992 and completed the psychological operations specialist course at Fort Bragg in 2002. He is survived by his wife, Crystal, of Fayetteville, and his parents, Howard Owen and Kay Hutchinson of Arizona.

Family members said Owen had a passion for law enforcement and was living out his dreams in the Army, where he found camaraderie with other soldiers and received a real-world education.

“He took pride in everything he did and he loved his job. He got where he wanted to be because he worked hard at it,” said Glenn Owen, Michael’s father.

During his tenure in the Army, Michael Owen served in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Haiti before he was sent to Iraq six weeks ago.

Owen spoke four languages, including French and Bosnian, and met his wife of three years at Fort Bragg.

“He was quiet, he was reserved, he was modest and he was humble. He was always so respectful of anyone he came in contact with, never boasted about what he was doing,” Gary Owen said of his nephew. “We could all take lessons from him.”

Family and friends will spread Michael Owen’s ashes on the peak of Lookout Mountain in north Phoenix, a wish he expressed to his wife before heading to Iraq.

Army Sgt. Michael G. Owen was killed in action on 10/15/04.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Army Pvt. David L. Waters

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pvt. David L. Waters, 19, of Auburn, Calif.

Pvt Waters was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.; killed Oct. 14, 2011 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his convoy vehicle in Baghdad.

Auburn soldier killed by explosive in Baghdad
Associated Press

AUBURN, Calif. — David Waters was a troubled teen in this former Gold Rush town before he found some direction in life by enlisting in the military early last year.

The 19-year-old soldier was killed Thursday in Baghdad when an explosive device detonated near his convoy vehicle, the Department of Defense said Saturday. Waters was assigned to the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum, N.Y.

Waters last returned home in September last year to mourn the death of his mother, Susan Waters, whose body was found behind some bushes in downtown Auburn, about 30 miles northeast of Sacramento. Auburn police say her killer has not been found.

“It’s been so heartbreaking,” said Debbie Waters, of Visalia, whose husband is David Waters’ cousin, speaking to the Sacramento Bee. “David had been a troubled youngster in high school. I can recall at his mom’s funeral last year, David was in his uniform and said, ‘I know my mom would be so proud to see how I’ve turned out.”’

David Waters’ aunt, Patricia Work of West Sacramento, said 42-year-old Susan Waters and her son struggled.

“David was in and out of trouble — his background wasn’t the best,” Work said. “But then he joined the service, and oh, he was so handsome in that uniform and he was so proud to be in it.”

Waters attended E.V. Cain Middle School and Placer High School in Auburn before joining the Army. Auburn Police Officer Dan Coe was a school resource officer when Waters was in school.

“He seemed to have really squared himself away in the military,” Coe said. “He was trying to make something of himself.”

Army Pvt. David L. Waters was killed in action on 10/14/04.

Army Spc. Bradley S. Beard

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Bradley S. Beard, 22, of Chapel Hill, N.C.

Spc. Beard was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Casey, Korea; killed Oct. 14, 2004 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle as he was doing reconnaissance for explosives at Camp Ramadi, Iraq.

Family remembers slain soldier as bright, funny
Associated Press

PITTSBORO, N.C. — Spc. Bradley S. Beard built his own computer once and entertained friends with jokes and impressions.

But the former engineering student at North Carolina State University took service to his country seriously. Beard, 22, dropped out of school a few months after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 to enlist in the Army.

He was one of three soldiers killed Thursday while hunting for explosives in Iraq when a bomb exploded near their convoy in the city of Ramadi.

He was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, a unit based at Camp Casey, South Korea.

He’d only recently requested to be moved to Iraq because “he thought it was important,” his father, Randall, said Monday.

Randall Beard and his wife, Betsy, live in Chatham County. Their dining room table was filled with pictures of their only son in camouflage uniform as friends and family gathered to remember Beard.

Beard landed in Iraq in September. While there, he was charged with escorting contractors to their jobs and monitoring radios. He later volunteered to find explosive devices in the field.

“He could have easily made the decision to be in the field and take intelligence, but he chose to be in the field and do reconnaissance work,” said George Arroyo, a longtime family friend.

Randall Beard said the job fulfilled his son.

“He was more upbeat in Iraq than he was in Korea,” he recalled. “He wanted to be there. He felt it was the right place to be and the right thing to be doing.”

Beard came home for a week in June to spend time with his family. He and his family spent one day together at Wrightsville Beach.

“It was just a day trip, but it was time we will be forever grateful for,” Randall Beard said.

At 6 foot, 3 inches and about 230 pounds, Beard was a fan of football and video games. His friend Arroyo remembers an excellent student who did well on his SAT exam, and who at age 16 was his best resource for computer advice.

In Iraq, Bradley Beard kept in touch with calls to his parents once or twice a week. The last time they heard from him was two weeks ago. They chatted for an hour and a half.

Randall Beard always knew his son was at risk.

“We knew it was a possibility; he knew it was a possibility,” Beard said. “I was broad-sided with this. I was confident he was going to come home.”

Beard was scheduled to return next September.

In addition to his parents, Beard is survived by his younger sister, Staci.

Randall Beard said his son will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Army Spc. Bradley S. Beard was killed in action on 10/14/04.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Army Pfc. James E. Prevete

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. James E. Prevete, 22, of Whitestone, N.Y.

Pfc. Prevete was assigned to 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, Camp Greaves, Korea; killed Oct. 10 when his military vehicle encountered white-out conditions and the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle in Habbaniya, Iraq.

When James E. Prevete played football in high school, he wasn't embarrassed if his mom came along.

"After every good play, say, when he made a great tackle or he caused a fumble, he would raise his right hand to his mother in the stands," said Joe Licata, a teacher.

"Most players don't even want their parents there when they play, much less to acknowledge them on the field."

Prevete, 22, of New York City, died Oct. 10 when the vehicle he was riding in crashed in Habbaniya, Iraq. He was based in South Korea.

Prevete was a 2000 high school graduate who was known to study football plays before games while his buddies were goofing around.

He briefly attended Sacred Heart University and Queens College before joining the Army.

He is survived by his parents, Jean and Vincent, and sister, Laura.

"We talked online a little when he was still in Kuwait, and the one thing he always said was that no matter what happened, he didn't want us to ever forget about him," said friend David Pelaez. "I remember dropping Jimmy at the airport, and he turned to me and said, 'Just watch over my sister.'"

— Associated Press

Army Pfc. James E. Prevete was killed in action on 10/10/04.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Army Sgt. Andrew W. Brown

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Andrew W. Brown, 22, of Pleasant Mount, Pa.

Sgt Brown was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 509th Infantry, Fort Polk, La.; died Oct. 8, 2004 in Baghdad of injuries sustained Oct. 1 when his patrol vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device.

Wayne County native killed in Iraq
Associated Press

PLEASANT MOUNT, Pa. — An active-duty soldier from northeast Pennsylvania died Friday in Iraq, a week after he was injured when his patrol vehicle was struck by an explosive device, the Defense Department said.

Sgt. Andrew W. Brown, 22, of Pleasant Mount in Wayne County, had been in Iraq since June, his mother, Lourdes Brown, said Sunday night.

Brown, who died in Baghdad, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, based at Fort Polk, La., according to a Defense Department news release.

“I had talked to him about a week ago,” Lourdes Brown said. “He was fine.”

Military officials have given the family some information about how he died, but they were still trying to gather more details, she said.

She declined to elaborate on her son’s life, saying the news was “still very raw.”

“We’re just waiting for him to come home so we can plan his funeral,” Lourdes Brown said.

Brown, who was single, is also survived by his father, William Jr., and his brother, Kevin, she said.

Army Sgt. Andrew W. Brown was killed in action on 10/8/04.