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In Tribute |

U.S. troops who have died in Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and Iraq.

EDITOR'S NOTE: These tributes, published in alphabetical order, were supplied by The Associated Press.

Army Pfc. Christopher Bartkiewicz

Christopher Bartkiewicz had grown up near military bases in North Carolina and was lured to service.

“Being a part of the Army was something he'd always wanted to do,” said his mother-in-law, Carol Hubbard. “He was just a hardworking kid who wanted the best for his family. He knew when he went in that chances were great he'd go to Iraq.”

Bartkiewicz, 25, of Dunfermline, Ill., was killed Sept. 30 in Baghdad by small-arms fire. He was assigned to Baumholder, Germany.

Army Spc. Cory Bertrand

Cory Bertrand's teenage years were spent playing in the front yard of a white frame house owned by his step grandparents.

His grandfather, Johnny Allen, recalls the quality time they spent together. “We shot guns together and we walked the place here together. I do some mechanic work and he enjoyed being with me while I was doing that.”

Bertrand, 18, of Center, Texas, died Oct. 14 in Qazi Bandeh, Afghanistan, when his vehicle struck an IED. He was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas.

Army Sgt. Federico Borjas

Federico Borjas was someone who lived with a single-minded determination to give of himself at every level, whether for family, community or country.

“He was very driven to be a protector,” San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne said. “He told me personally that he wanted to make sure everyone had the same chances that he'd had, and that you had to fight to make that happen.”

Borjas, 33, of San Diego, Calif., died Oct. 16 in Afghanistan's Bermel District Center of wounds from small-arms fire. He was assigned to San Diego.

Army Sgt. Nicholas Casey

By 10th grade, Nicholas Casey was starting to listen to service recruiters. Because of a lack of jobs in the area, Casey started to see the military as a way of life.

“That's what he wanted to do,” said his father, Samuel. “He didn't never give up on nothing that he started.”

Casey, 22, of Canton, Ohio, died Oct. 28 in Baghlan province, Afghanistan, of wounds from a suicide bomb attack. He was assigned to Fort Bragg.

Army Sgt. Michael Clark

Michael Clark loved to ride dirt bikes and owned a custom-built motorcycle and a 1986 Mustang GT. He enjoyed snowboarding and mountain biking.

“He loved to go fast,” said his mother, Cherie Clark.

Clark, 24, of Sacramento, Calif., died Oct. 7 in Mosul, Iraq, of wounds from small-arms fire. He was assigned to Fort Carson.

Army Pfc. Scott Dimond

Scott Dimond's uncle, Jean Dimond, said his nephew was fearless and up for any challenge, such as being the only child in the neighborhood brave enough to ride a friend's red wagon down a hill.

“He had such a wonderful outlook on life,” Jean Dimond said.

Dimond, 39, of Franklin, N.H., died in an ambush Oct. 13 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Milford, N.H.

Marine Lance Cpl. Stacy Dryden

More than 200 people attended Stacy Dryden's funeral service, where her lifelong friend and fellow Marine, Pfc. Jessie Reed, spoke of her love of a woman known as “Annie.”

“Without Annie, I wouldn't be the person I am today,” Reed said. “She's going to stay in my heart forever.”

Dryden, 22, of North Canton, Ohio, died Oct. 19 in a non-hostile incident in Anbar province. She was assigned to Camp Pendleton.

Army Pfc. Cody Eggleston

Cody Eggleston had a knack for seeing the bright side and sharing his upbeat perspective, said friend Kaitlyn Kite.

“If I was stressing over school, he would be able to put it in a different light and I'd feel better,” she said.

Eggleston, 21, of Eugene, Ore., died Oct. 24 of wounds suffered Oct. 16 in Baqubah. He was assigned to Fort Wainwright.

Army Cpl. Reuben Fernandez III

On leave and staying in Abilene, Texas, Reuben Fernandez III called his mother at work in San Angelo and asked if she had lunch plans.

“I said, ‘I don't know,' and I look up, and there he is walking in the door,” said Aurora Fernandez. “He was funny like that. He drove all the way to San Angelo, and we had lunch.”

Fernandez, 22, of Abilene, died Oct. 11 after his vehicle struck a bomb in Majar Al Kabir. He was assigned to Fort Hood.

Army Spc. Stephen Fortunato

Stephen Fortunato was the oldest of three children, and his younger siblings were at their mother's side to offer memories of their brother.

“I don't even want to believe this is true. He was my role model, my hero,” said Anthony, 20, the youngest. “I loved him so much that I really, really hope that wherever he is, he knows that.”

Fortunato, 25, of Danvers, Mass., died Oct. 14 in Qazi Bandeh, Afghanistan, when his vehicle struck an IED. He was assigned to Fort Hood.

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