Friday, March 26, 2004

Marine Pfc. Leroy Sandoval, Jr.

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Pfc. Leroy Sandoval, Jr., 21, of Houston, Texas.

Pfc Sandoval died due to hostile fire in the Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.

Pfc Sandoval joined the Marines in May 2003. He told his parents he was worried about going into the dangerous area of Iraq to relieve an Army unit. “He asked his mom to pray for him; told her they were going into a real bad city,” Steve Walters said. “He didn’t like the name of that town from the start.”

Walters said he and his wife hoped Sandoval wouldn’t have to go into Iraq, “but he was ready to do what he needed to do and was proud to do it.”

In his school days, Marine Pfc. Leroy Sandoval Jr. had a mischievous smile and a knack for making others laugh.

Sandoval graduated from Harvest Christian Academy in Pasadena, a private school, in 2000. More than 200 classmates, friends and school staffers remembered Sandoval during a memorial service.

“Little Leroy ran a big race, and he ran it quick. He fell on this Earth, but he fell to rise in heaven,” Patricia Gehret, the academy’s superintendent, said. “We have the hard part — to carry on.”

Marine Pfc Leroy Sandoval was killed in action on 03/26/04.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Marine Cpl. Andrew D. Brownfield

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Cpl. Andrew D. Brownfield, 24, of Akron, Ohio.

Cpl Brownfield died due to wounds received from an enemy mortar attack at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. He was assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 374, Marine Wing Support Group 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, California.

Members of his family said they last saw him in December, when he came home for Christmas with his fiancée. He went to Iraq in early February.

“He volunteered to go to Iraq,” said Melody Roop, his mother, who lives in nearby Stow. “He did this because he wanted to fight for what he believed in. He was a very strong Marine. He believed in this war, and he wanted to fight for his country to help prevent any more 9-11’s from happening here.”

Roop said she last spoke with him about 10 days ago by telephone. She now treasures a message he recently left on her answering machine, imitating Forrest Gump.

Kirk Brownfield, his father, said Andrew graduated from Akron North High School and worked at various jobs before joining the Marines. “He enjoyed it real well. He liked it more than he didn’t,” he said. “He was a good kid. Everybody was proud of him.”

Brownfield joined the Marines Jan. 3, 2001. His job in Iraq was to hang bombs on planes and helicopters.

“He walked proud,” Roop said. “He had the Marine look, even in civilian clothes.”

Marine Cpl Andrew D. Brownfield was killed in action on 03/18/04.

Rest in Peace, Andy, you are a Hero.