Monday, March 31, 2003

Army Spc. William A. Jeffries

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. William A. Jeffries, 39, of Evansville, Ind.

Spc Jeffries was assigned to D Company, 1st Battalion, 152nd Infantry Regiment, Indiana Army National Guard; evacuated from Kuwait to Rota, Spain, where he died as a result of a sudden illness.Spc. William A. Jeffries graduated from Evansville (Ind.) Reitz High School in 1982, was married and spent a decade with the Air Force before joining the Indiana National Guard.

His family said a military official told them he suffered a blood clot in his lung and acute pancreatitis. He died March 31, 2003 at a hospital in Spain after falling ill in Kuwait.

Army Spc. William A. Jeffries died of a non-combat related illness on 3/31/03.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Marine Capt. Aaron J. Contreras

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Capt. Aaron J. Contreras, 31, of Sherwood, Ore.

Capt Contreras was assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA)-169, Marine Aircraft Group-39, Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, Calif.; killed March 30, 2003 in a helicopter crash in southern Iraq.

Religious father of three was ‘determined at everything’
By Patrick McMahon
USA Today

To his hometown parish priest, Marine Capt. Aaron Contreras, 31, was a devout Catholic who knew his Bible inside and out.

“He was a very unusual young man in a spiritual way,” recalled the Rev. Tom McCarthy, a priest at St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood, Ore., a suburb of Portland.

“Aaron was very religious, and believed in his church,” said his father Edward, a Vietnam veteran.

Contreras played football, basketball and ran some track in high school.

“He was determined in everything he did,” his father said.

Contreras and two others died when their UH-1 Huey helicopter crashed Sunday, March 30, at a supply and refueling point in southern Iraq, the Defense Department said.

On Friday, a private memorial service will be held for the three Marines at Camp Pendleton near Oceanside, Calif., where their helicopter squadron is based.

Contreras was born in San Jose, Calif. on July 4, 1971. His family moved to the Portland, Ore., suburb of Sherwood in 1979.

One of five brothers, he is remembered at Sherwood High School as a student-athlete. After high school, he attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz.

He and his wife, Janelle, had three children — one boy and two girls. In recent years the family lived in San Diego.

“The rest of us are going to miss him terribly,” Contreras’ mother, Rosary, told Portland television station KOIN.

“We just hope this war ends soon. I mean for both sides, there are families losing sons, husbands and fathers. We want peace and I know our president is doing the best he can.”

Marine Capt. Aaron J. Contreras was killed in action on 3/30/03.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Army Pfc. Michael Russell Creighton Weldon

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Michael Russell Creighton Weldon, 20, of Conyers, Ga.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.; killed in a suicide car-bombing near Najaf, Iraq.

Private became engaged prior to Iraq deployment

From wire reports

Pfc. Michael Russell Creighton Weldon, 20, followed in the footsteps of his mother, Sgt. Maj. Jean Weldon, who recently retired from the military.

“He chose infantry because he’s a tough guy,” Jean Weldon said from her home in Palm Bay, Fla.

Weldon died Saturday, March 29, in the suicide car bombing near Najaf.

He had a 23-year-old sister and a 15-year-old brother.

He became engaged before leaving for Iraq in January. His fiancée, Kerri, would often drive to his family’s home when he called so his brother and mother could talk to him on her cell phone.

“My son was the strength of the household,” Jean Weldon said. “After I got divorced, Michael was the man of the house.”

A muscular man who often lifted weights, Weldon lavished attention on his truck and enjoyed video games, particularly Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

“He was quite a looker,” his mother added.

Army Pfc. Michael Russell Creighton Weldon was killed in action on 03/29/03.