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April's Fallen

April's Fallen

A silent stroll one night in the darkness of my mind Brought contemplation of a purpose I thought that I might find For sixty years of walking; I haven't learned much in that time I know somehow my purpose wasn't to know war's filth and grime I should drum out a stern warning as often as I can I should stand on my soap box; preach to every man That any war is useless, a practice we need to ban Taking lives is senseless just too advance some virulent plan Take a walk in your own mind; carefully sort your thoughts See with reason an awakening; firmly carve a spot For contemplating purpose; see what mental wonder wrought Embroider in every mind why foolish wars are fought Educate your brothers and members of your clan Have them compass a steady course for peace in every land Finally end forever futile battles fought for sand War was never part of the Makers master plan.

— A poem titled Contemplation, written by Terry Sutherland, April 10, 2007 and posted at International War Veterans' Poetry Archives

April 2007 marked the sixth deadliest month, with 104 fatalities, for US troops in Iraq since the war began in March 2003. Major combat operations were declared accomplished on May 1, 2003. 139 soldiers had died. Post combat operations have since claimed the lives of 3243 troops. Troops dying for causes which—out of respect for their opinions about the war, as well as the opinions of their surviving family, friends, and fellow soldiers—won't be discussed or debated here. Here, we take a moment to solemnly contemplate each of the following 104, lingering over their names, their ages, where they lived—envisioning all the family, friends, communities, hopes, and dreams they left behind. 

In Memoriam

Army Staff Sgt. Jason R. Arnette, 24, of Amelia, Virginia

Army Sgt. Robert M. McDowell, 30, of Deer Park, Texas

Army Spc. William G. Bowling, 24, of Beattyville, Kentucky

Army Staff Sgt. Eric R. Vick, 25, of Spring Hope, North Carolina

Army Staff Sgt. David A. Mejias, 26, of San Juan, Puerto Rico

Marine Pfc. Miguel A. Marcial III, 19, of Secaucus, New Jersey

Army Spc. Curtis R. Spivey, 25, of Chula Vista, California

Army Staff Sgt. Bradley D. King, 28, of Marion, Indiana

Army Spc. Brian E. Ritzberg, 24, of New York;

Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel R. Olsen, 20, of Eagan, Minnesota

Army Pfc. Gabriel J. Figueroa, 20, of Baldwin Park, California

Army Staff Sgt. Shane R. Becker, 35, of Helena, Montana

Army Pfc. James J. Coon, 22, of Walnut Creek, California

Army Staff Sgt. Jerry C. Burge, 39, of Carriere, Mississippi

Army Cpl. Joseph H. Cantrell IV, 23, of Ashland, Kentucky

Army Pfc. Walter Freeman Jr., 20, of Lancaster, California

Army Pfc. Derek A. Gibson, 20, Eustis, Florida

Army Spc. Jason A. Shaffer, 28, of Derry, Pennsylvania

Army Sgt. Forrest D. Cauthorn, 22, of Midlothian, Virginia

Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Joseph C. Schwedler, 27, of Crystal Falls, Michigan

Army Pfc. Daniel A. Fuentes, 19, of Levittown, New York

Army Pfc. Jay S. Cajimat, 20, of Lahaina, Hawaii

Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal (Diver) Gregory J. Billiter, 36, of Villa Hills, Kentucky

Explosive Ordnance Disposal 2nd Class (Diver) Curtis R. Hall, 24, of Burley, Idaho

Explosive Ordnance Disposal 1st Class (Diver) Joseph A. McSween, 26, of Valdosta, Georgia

Army Capt. Anthony Palermo, 26, of Brockton, Massachusetts

Army Spc. Ryan S. Dallam, 24, of Norman, Oklahoma

Army Pvt. Damian Lopez Rodriguez, 19, Tucson, Arizona

Navy Cmdr. Philip A. Murphy-Sweet, 42, of Caldwell, Idaho

Army Capt. Jonathan D. Grassbaugh, 25, of East Hampstead, New Hampshire

Army Spc. Ebe F. Emolo, 33, of Greensboro, North Carolina

Army Spc. Levi K. Hoover, 23, of Midland, Michigan

Pfc. Rodney L. McCandless, 21, of Camden, Arkansas

Army Staff Sgt. Jesse L. Williams, 25, of Santa Rosa, California

Army Staff Sgt. Harrison Brown, 31, of Prichard, Alabama

Army Sgt. Todd A. Singleton, 24, of Muskegon, Michigan

Army Sgt. Adam P. Kennedy, 25, of Norfolk, Massachusetts

Army 1st Lt. Phillip I. Neel, 27, of Fredericksburg, Texas

Army Pfc. David N. Simmons, 20, of Kokomo, Indiana

Army Spc. Clifford A. Spohn III, 21, of Albuquerque, New Mexico

Army Spc. Ismael G. Solorio, 21, of San Luis, Arizona

Army Pfc. Brian L. Holden, 20, of Claremont, North Carolina

Army Pvt. Brett A. Walton, 37, of Hillsboro, Oregon

Army Pfc. Kyle G. Bohrnsen, 22, of Philipsburg, Montana

Army Sgt. Raymond S. Sevaaetasi, 29, of Pago Pago, American Samoa

Army Cpl. Jason J. Beadles, 22, of LaPorte, Indiana

Army 1st Lt. Gwilym J. Newman, 24, of Waldorf, Maryland

Army Spc. James T. Lindsey, 20, of Florence, Alabama

Army Cpl. Cody A. Putnam, 22, of Lafayette, Indiana

Army Pfc. John G. Borbonus, 19, of Boise, Idaho

Army Sgt. Larry R. Bowman, 29, of Granite Falls, North Carolina

Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel J. Santee, 21, of Mission Viejo, California


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Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Basham, 22, of Kenosha, Wisconsin

Army Spc. Ryan A. Bishop, 32, of Euless, Texas

Army Sgt. Joshua A. Schmit, 26, of Willmar, Minnesota

Army Sgt. Brandon L. Wallace, 27, of St. Louis, Missouri

Army Pfc. Steven J. Walberg, 18, of Paradise, California

Marine 1st Lt. Shaun M. Blue, 25, of Munster, Indiana

Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel R. Scherry, 20, of Rocky River, Ohio

Marine Lance Cpl. Jesse D. Delatorre, 29, of Aurora, Illinois

Army Pfc. Lucas V. Starcevich, 25, of Canton, Illinois

Army Pfc. Aaron M. Genevie, 22, of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Army Sgt. Mario K. DeLeon, 26, of San Francisco, California

Army Pfc. Richard P. Langenbrunner, 19, of Fort Wayne, Indiana

Army Pfc. Jason M. Morales, 20, of La Puente, California

Army Cpl. Wade J. Oglesby, 27, of Grand Junction, Colorado

Army Cpl. Michael M. Rojas, 21, of Fresno, California

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Dwayne L. Moore, 31, of Williamsburg, Virginia

Marine Lance Cpl. Jeffery A. Bishop, 23, of Dickson, Tennessee

Army Pvt. Michael J. Slater, 19, of Scott Depot, West Virginia

Army Pfc. Christopher M. North, 21, of Sarasota, Florida

Army Staff Sgt. Marlon B. Harper, 34, of Baltimore, Maryland

Army Sgt. William W. Bushnell, 24, of Jasper, Arkansas

Army Cpl. Ray M. Bevel, 22, of Andrews, Texas

Army Staff Sgt. Steven R. Tudor, 36, of Dunmore, Pennsylvania

Army Pfc. Jeffrey A. Avery, 19, of Colorado Springs, Colorado

Marine Lance Cpl. Dale G. Peterson, 20, of Redmond, Oregon

Army 1st Lt. Kevin J. Gaspers, 26, of Hastings, Nebraska

Army Staff Sgt. Kenneth E. Locker Jr. , 28, of Wakefield, Nebraska

Army Staff Sgt. William C. Moore, 27, of Benson, North Carolina

Army Sgt. Randell T. Marshall, 22, of Fitzgerald, Georgia

Army Sgt. Brice A. Pearson , 32, of Phoenix;, Arizona

Army Sgt. Michael L. Vaughan, 20, of Otis, Oregon

Army Spc. Jerry R. King, 19, of Browersville, Georgia

Army Spc. Michael J. Rodriguez, 20, of Sanford, North Carolina

Army Pfc. Garrett C. Knoll, 23, of Bad Axe, Michigan

Army Spc. Jeremy E. Maresh, 24, of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

Marine Cpl. Willie P. Celestine Jr., 21, of Lafayette, Louisiana

Marine Lance Cpl. Adam E. Loggins, 27, of Athens, Alabama

Marine Cpl. Christopher Degiovine, 25, of Lone Tree, Colorado

Marine Sgt. Peter Woodall, 25, of Sarasota, Florida

Army Pfc. Nicholas E. Riehl, 21, of Shiocton, Wisconsin

Marine Sgt. William J. Callahan, 28, of South Easton, Massachusetts

Army Pfc. David A. Kirkpatrick, 20, of Upland, Indiana

Army Spc. Eddie D. Tamez, 21, of Galveston, Texas

Sgt. Glenn D. Hicks Jr., 24, of College Station, Texas

Pfc. Jay-D H. Ornsby-Adkins, 21, of Ione, California

Pvt. Cole E. Spencer, 21, of Gays, Illinois

Army Sgt. Norman L. Tollett, 30, of Columbus, Ohio

Army Sgt. Michael R. Hullender, 29, of Little Falls, New Jersey

Army Staff Sgt. Jay E. Martin, 29, of Baltimore, Maryland

Army Pfc. Brian A. Botello, 19, of Alta, Iowa

Marine 1st Lt. Travis L. Manion, 26, of Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Army Sgt. Alexander J. Funcheon, 21, of Bel Aire, Kansas

Information compiled from Iraq Coalition Casualty Count , the Department of Defense, and the Military Times. For more detailed information, including photographs and links to biographical information and obituaries, visit the Military Times.

Debi Smith has a son who is 17 and a daughter who is 14. She looks at the ages of so many of the fallen and can't imagine what it must be like to send one's child off to war, and what it must be like when they return with injuries, nightmares, and missing limbs (as have almost 25,000), or worse, in a box. Back in 2003, when her son was just 13, she thought she'd never have to worry about such things herself, but four years and 3,386 dead soldiers later, she is becoming increasingly concerned.

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Debi Smith

Debi Smith

Debi Smith -- wife, mother, grandmother, and concerned American and human being traveling aboard this small mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam--writes from her home in Ashland, Oregon. She welcomes your thoughtful comments, and ideas about how we can come together in search of common ground, at

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