April 12 —
Some of the U.S. troops killed in the war in Iraq:
Army Sgt. 1st Class John Marshall, X, Sacramento, Calif.
In his last dispatch before the war, Sgt. 1st Class John Marshall
referred to himself as an "old soldier" with a clear purpose and
little luxury to debate the reason for his mission.
"It's really not an issue with me. I am not a politician or a
policy maker, just an old soldier," he wrote home in an e-mail. "Any
doubts on my part could get someone killed."
On Tuesday, Marshall was ambushed and killed by an Iraqi
rocket-propelled grenade, the Pentagon announced Saturday. At 50,
Marshall is the oldest American military casualty of the conflict in
"It's sad," his 80-year-old mother, Odessa Marshall, said
Saturday. "I was expecting to go before my kids. I didn't want to be
here to see my kids go."
John Marshall was a career soldier who served stints in Korea and
Germany. Most recently, he was based at Ft. Stewart in Hinesville,
Ga., as part of the 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd
Infantry Division. He lived with his wife, Denise, and had six
children, ages 9 to 17.
Army Pfc. Tamario Burkett, 21, Buffalo, N.Y.
The oldest of seven children, Pfc. Tamario Burkett was a poet, an
artist and a big brother who asked his mother whether God would
forgive him if he had to kill someone in combat., his family
Burkett had been listed as missing in Iraq since last month. His
mother, Brenda Wilson, said she and husband, Raymond, were told
Friday night that their son was killed in action.
"Right now I thank God my son is not somewhere suffering and that
I know," Brenda Wilson said. "I'm still praying for the other kids
to come home."
Burkett's letters home included special notes for each of his six
younger siblings, ages 1 to 18. He wrote that Katrina, 15, should
stay away from boys and 18-year-old Raymond should focus on
His parents have said Burkett surprised them with his decision to
join the Marines after talking to a recruiter at school one day.
Burkett was a member of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade out of
Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Last month, the Wilsons were told their son was missing after his
unit came under attack as it was securing a bridge near Nasiriyah.
Burkett's mother said the family was given no further details.
Army Staff Sgt. Terry Hemingway, 39, Willingboro, N.J.
A 19-year Army veteran who had been stationed in the Panama Canal
Zone, Germany and Korea before going to Iraq, Staff Sgt. Terry
Hemingway loved the challenges of the military, his family said.
Hemingway was killed Thursday when a car exploded beside the
armored vehicle he was riding in, the Pentagon said.
Sheryl Tinsley, his sister-in-law, said Hemingway was deployed to
the Persian Gulf region in January. He was assigned to C Company,
First Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, based at Fort Benning,
Hemingway is survived by his wife Darlene, and their three
children, Danisha, 7; Venetia, 9; and Terry Jr., 11.
Tinsley said her brother-in-law was born in South Carolina, but
grew up in Trenton. He lived with his mother in Willingboro for
several years before enlisting in the Army in 1981.
Sgt. Brendon Reiss, 23, Hanna, Wyo.,
Since Marine Sgt. Brendon Reiss had been missing since last
month, his father said he knew what was coming when he was paid a
visit Friday night from Marine Corps officers and a Navy
"I just told them I had been expecting them," his father, Brian
Reiss, 60, of Port Angeles, Wash., said Saturday.
The Department of Defense announced Saturday it had identified
Reiss' remains. He had been listed as missing after disappearing
near a Euphrates River bridge in Iraq last month.
The elder Reiss had been on edge since receiving one call on
Tuesday that led them to conclude his son had been killed, then a
subsequent call from a Marine lieutenant who said his son was still
"He's felt like he's on a yo-yo," Reiss' wife, Carol, said
Brian Reiss said he was told his son was with about 12 other
marines trying to secure a bridge on the outskirts of Nasiriyah in
southern Iraq on March 23.
"They were ambushed by a far greater force," he said. "They had
to abandon their vehicles and seek cover."
Reiss mother, Angela Reiss, of Casper, said Saturday that she's
"at peace" with her son's death.
"What we feel so many other people feel too," she said.
Reiss was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., with the 1st
Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary
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