Gone, Not Forgotten
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Abbot Fr Chris's Blog

Gone, Not Forgotten

The most recent list we have been able to obtain from the Dept. of Defense in Washington, DC of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of the United States military:

A list of New Mexico soldiers and Marines killed in Iraq and Afghanistan
    Killed in Iraq:
Army Sgt. Clifton Yazzie
, 23, of Kirtland, killed Jan. 20 during his second tour of duty. He was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division.
    _Army Spc. Vernon R. Widner, 34, of Truth or Consequences, killed Nov. 17, 2005, near Beiji, Iraq, when the Humvee he was in was struck by an Iraqi-driven vehicle. Widner, on his second tour of Iraq, was a member of the 101st Airborne Division, 3rd Special Troop Battalion 3rd Brigade Combat Team, stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky.
    _Army Pfc. Mario A. Reyes, 19, of Las Cruces, killed Nov. 7, 2005, near Baghdad when a car bomb blew up while he was on patrol. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment from Fort Carson, Colo.
    _Marine Lance Cpl. Chad Robert Hildebrandt of Springer, 22, a 2003 graduate of Maxwell High School, killed Oct. 17, 2005, in Rutba, Iraq, after being shot in the head during his second tour in Iraq.
    _New Mexico National Guard Sgt. Marshal A. Westbrook, 43, of Farmington, a member of the Albuquerque-based 126th Military Police Company, killed Oct. 1, 2005, in Baghdad after being struck in the head by shrapnel from an explosive device.
    _Army Cpl. Lyle Cambridge of Shiprock, a 2000 graduate of Aztec High School, killed July 5, 2005, in Baghdad when an improvised explosive device detonated near the vehicle in which he was riding. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment based at Fort Carson, Colo.
Air Force Special Forces 1st Lt. Jeremy Fresques
, 26, a 1997 graduate of Farmington High School, killed May 30, 2005, when an Iraqi single-engine plane crashed near Jalula, about 80 miles northeast of Baghdad.
    _Reserve Marine Lance Cpl. Jonathan Grant, 23, of Pojoaque, killed May 11, 2005, when the amphibious assault vehicle he was in was hit by an explosive device.
    _Army Staff Sergeant Joseph Rodriguez, 25, Las Cruces, killed Jan. 28, 2005, when an improvised explosive struck his vehicle in south Baghdad.
    _Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher S. Adlesperger, 20, Albuquerque, a rifleman killed Dec. 9, 2004, during fighting in the Anbar province.
    _Army Spc. Jeremy E. Christensen, 27, Albuquerque, killed Nov. 27, 2004, when a homemade bomb was detonated near his patrol vehicle in Ad Duilayah, Iraq.
    _Army Spc. Christopher A. Merville, 26, Albuquerque, killed Oct. 12, 2004, when his unit came under fire during combat operations in Baghdad.
    _Marine Sgt. Moses D. Rocha, 33, Roswell, shot Aug. 5, 2004, during fighting in Najaf on his second tour of duty.
    _Army Sgt. Tommy L. Gray, 34, Roswell, a tank mechanic killed Aug. 3, 2004, when he was caught between two vehicles in his motor pool in Taji.
    _Marine Lance Cpl. Aaron Austin, 21, Lovington, killed April 26, 2004, in Fallujah during his second tour in Iraq.
    _Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher Ramos, 26, Albuquerque, killed April 5, 2004, from hostile fire in Anbar province during his second tour of duty.
Army Sgt. Lee Todacheene,
29, a medic and resident of Lukachukai, Ariz., who went to school in Farmington, was killed in an Iraqi ambush in early April 2004.
    _Army Spc. James "Heath'' Pirtle, 27, La Mesa, a graduate of Carlsbad High School, killed Oct. 4, 2003, when the Bradley fighting vehicle he was in was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in Assadah.
    Killed in Afghanistan:
Air Force Maj. Steven Plumhoff
, 33, stationed with Kirtland Air Force Base's 58th Special Operations Wing, killed Nov. 23, 2003, when his MH-53J Pave Low helicopter crashed near Bagram, Afghanistan.
Air Force 1st Lt. Tamara Long Archuleta,
23, of Belen, co-pilot of an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter, killed when the helicopter crashed in Afghanistan on a mercy mission on March 23, 2003.
    _Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher James Speer, 28, of Albuquerque, died Aug. 7, 2002, after being wounded in an ambush on July 27 in the east of Afghanistan.
    _Senior Airman Jason Cunningham, 26, a Carlsbad native who also lived in Farmington and Gallup, killed March 4, 2002, while rescuing wounded troops in Marzak, Afghanistan.

After much prayer and discernment we will be naming our assisted living facility for homeless veterans after 1st Lt. Tamara Long Archuleta of Belen, NM.  Lt. Archuleta had been stationed at Kirtland AFB prior to serving in Afghanistan in 2003.  Dedicating the property in her name is the least we can do in honor of her having made the ultimate sacrifice while on a mercy mission to rescue comrades in need of immediate medical care.

We offer our constant prayers for the repose of the soul of each of these who have given their all on behalf of this nation in military service.  May their deaths not have been in vain.

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