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In honor of America's fallen

By Times Staff Writer
Published July 4, 2004

Stories behind some of the service members who lost their lives in Iraq in recent weeks

MARINE LANCE CPL. JEREMY L. BOHLMAN

When Bohlman was sent on his first tour of duty in Iraq, the Marine wrote to his grandparents of his pride in his work restoring a school.

"I think we did the right thing coming here," he wrote. "The majority of the Iraqi people praise us for the work we are doing here."

The 21-year-old from Sioux Falls, S.D., was killed June 7 in an attack in Anbar province.

Survivors include his wife, Lindsey. The two were married two weeks before Bohlman left for Iraq.

MARINE LANCE CPL. TODD J. BOLDING

Bolding had just nine months left in the Marines and planned to settle in the Houston area and attend college.

Bolding, 23, of Manvel, Texas, was killed June 3 from hostile action in Anbar province. He joined the Marines in 2001.

Bolding was a youth usher at his church and organized the church's basketball team. In high school, he played football, wrestled and ran track. In the summers, he worked as a lifeguard.

ARMY SGT. FRANK T. CARVILL

Carvill, who survived the terror attacks at the World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001, was always one to help others.

Carvill was working in the North Tower as a paralegal on Sept. 11, 2001, said his sister, Peggy Liguori. He was helping a co-worker with a disability get into a van, and saw the first plane hit. In the 1993 attack, he helped a co-worker 54 floors down to safety.

A member of the New Jersey National Guard, Carvill, 51, of Carlstadt, N.J., was killed June 4 in an ambush outside Baghdad.

ARMY SPC. THOMAS D. CAUGHMAN

At Caughman's funeral, the Rev. Robert "Butch" Powell recalled one of his last conversations with Caughman before the soldier headed for Iraq.

"He told me, "I'm not married, I don't have any kids. I'm going for those who can't. I'm going because it's right,' " Powell said.

When he wrote home, Caughman closed his letters with these words: "Freedom isn't free."

Caughman, 20, of Lexington, S.C., died June 9 when his armored vehicle was ambushed near Baghdad.

ARMY SPC. RYAN E. DOLTZ

When Doltz injured both heels while training for his deployment to Iraq, doctors told him he'd spend six weeks in a wheelchair and six months in rehabilitation, his mother, Cheryl, said.

But the soldier wouldn't let the prognosis slow him down. He recovered in eight weeks and joined his comrades in Iraq.

The 26-year-old from Mine Hill, N.J., was killed June 5 in Baghdad in an attack on his vehicle.

He quit the Virginia Military Institute football team only to take up rugby - "football without pads," his mother said.

His friends described him as energetic and said he was a caring and trustworthy comrade.

ARMY SPC. CHRISTOPHER M. DUFFY

Duffy had a passion for the Green Bay Packers and the New York Mets. His lighthearted nature was balanced by a willingness to help those in need, friends said.

Duffy worked for three years for Ocean's One Inc., a transport company, driving elderly patients to medical appointments.

The 26-year-old New Jersey National Guard member from Brick Township was killed June 4 in an ambush outside Baghdad.

A friend, Dan Haupt, characterized Duffy as a loyal person who would be the first to comfort others. At the same time, he said Duffy was a prankster who couldn't resist tossing someone in a pool if he was standing too close to the edge.

Survivors include his wife, Casey, and 8-month-old son, Ryan.

ARMY SGT. JUSTIN L. EYERLY

Eyerly was a talented and creative man whose love of music was rivaled only by his sense of duty.

He was studying graphic design at Portland State University, and hoped to work in the music industry or produce video games. Eyerly worked as an intern in Web design for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Eyerly, 23, of Salem, Ore., was killed June 4 in an ambush in Sadr City, a Baghdad suburb.

He was an avid fan of the rock band Filter, running a Web site about the group. In a statement on the band's Web site, Filter frontman Richard Patrick promised to dedicate the group's upcoming album to Eyerly's memory "as a tribute to this courageous young man, whose passion for my music will not be forgotten."

ARMY PFC. MELISSA J. HOBART

Hobart had a tough start, dropping out of high school and getting her GED, but by the time she graduated as a medic in the Army, she was at the top of her class, friends and family said.

The 22-year-old from Ladson, S.C., collapsed while on guard duty and died June 6 in Baghdad.

Hobart was spunky and energetic: "She was always on the go and you couldn't keep up with her," said her mother, Constance Hobart.

The soldier played soccer, basketball, baseball and the flute and loved to dance and read, her mother said. The two used to fight over who would get first crack at each new Stephen King book.

Other survivors include Gary Hobart, her father, and her 3-year-old daughter, Alexis McCabe.

ARMY PFC. SEAN HORN

During a final phone conversation with Sean Horn, his sister Melissa repeatedly told him how much she loved him. An embarrassed Horn replied: "Come on, Mel, the fellas are behind me listening. I understand you love me."

A week from his 20th birthday, Horn died June 19 of nonhostile causes at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq. He was based at Camp Pendleton.

"It's the worst thing in the world that could possibly happen to a family," his sister said.

Horn was born in the Los Angeles suburb of Lakewood and grew up in Irvine. He joined the Marines in June 2003.

ARMY PFC. MARKUS J. JOHNSON

Johnson joined the Army days after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in hopes that his service would help him realize his dream of becoming a state trooper.

A big fan of the Chicago Bulls, Johnson also hoped to live in Chicago some day.

Johnson, 20, of Springfield, Mass., was killed June 1 when his vehicle rolled over in the Anbar province.

Johnson played in the high school band and sang tenor in the church choir.

ARMY CAPT. HUMAYUN S.M. KHAN

Khan, who hoped to become a military lawyer one day, enjoyed taking responsibility for others and keeping the peace.

Khan, 27, of Bristow, Va., died June 8 in a suicide car bombing at the main gates of his base.

Khan was born in the United Arab Emirates and moved to Maryland at age 2. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2000.

ARMY STAFF SGT. CHARLES A. KISER

Kiser loved his family deeply, and believed strongly in the U.S. efforts in Iraq.

Kiser, 37, of Cleveland, Wis., died June 24 in an explosion outside Mosul.

Before being deployed, he worked as a supervisor at GKN Sinter Metals, which manufactures automotive parts.

Survivors include his wife, Deb, and children Mark, 10, and Alicia, 13.

Kiser grew up in Amelia, Ohio, east of Cincinnati, and was a sprinter and ran cross country in high school. He was a member of the track team at the University of Cincinnati, but dropped out after a year and joined the Navy.

MARINE CPL. BUMROCK R. LEE

Lee, 21, of Sunnyvale, Calif., died June 2 from injuries suffered the previous week in a vehicle attack in Iraq's Anbar province. He was based at Camp Pendleton.

Lee, known as "Bum" or "Rocky" to his friends, was born in Korea and immigrated with his family to California when he was a child. He enlisted in the Marines during his senior year in high school, and left for boot camp upon graduation.

He was stationed in Japan before being sent to Iraq.

"He was extremely brave and proud of the fact that he could fight for his country," said Lee's cousin, Jin Whang. "He wanted to do his civic and military duties for his country."

ARMY SPC. JUSTIN W. LINDEN

Linden never missed a chance to brighten a shift while working at a KFC restaurant.

Linden, 22, of Portland, Ore., was killed June 4, one of five soldiers attacked by assailants with an improvised explosive device and rocket-propelled grenades. He was a member of the Oregon National Guard and graduated from high school in Clinton, Wis., in 1999.

Linden's mother, Donna Beckman of Elkhorn, Wis., said her son moved to Portland with friends about four years ago, and he got married before being shipped to Iraq.

"They were planning on having a big wedding reception when he got back," she said.

MARINE LANCE CPL. JUAN LOPEZ

In high school in Dalton, Ga., Lopez played on the soccer team and was remembered for his smile.

"He was a good boy, always smiling," said principal Alan Long. "He was one of those guys who did what he was supposed to do."

Lopez, 22, was killed June 21 during fighting in Iraq's Anbar province. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton.

ARMY 1ST LT. ERIK S. MCCRAE

McCrae tried to look beyond the violence in Iraq, describing to his wife encounters with children and visits to old buildings.

"He enjoyed learning about the culture and talked about all the beautiful buildings and the mosques," Heather McCrae said.

McCrae, 25, an Oregon National Guard member, was killed by a bomb in Baghdad on June 4.

A 2000 graduate of Linfield College, McCrae worked as a mechanical engineer and reserve sheriff's deputy before he shipped out to Iraq.

He was an avid outdoorsman who learned to love camping, hunting and fishing as a Cub Scout. He had just bought a Harley Davidson Sportster motorcycle.

ARMY SPC. ERIC S. MCKINLEY

An avid outdoorsman, McKinley hoped to open a juice bar in the college town of Corvallis, Ore., to provide a drug- and alcohol-free environment for young people.

McKinley, 24, of Corvallis was killed June 13 by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad. McKinley's six-year tour of duty with the National Guard was to have ended April 1, but his stay was extended indefinitely.

McKinley's senior yearbook picture shows a grinning young man with spiked hair dyed red and green. In other 1998 yearbook pictures, he has purple hair, blue hair and a mohawk.

ARMY SGT. MELVIN Y. MORA

Mora had dreams of working for National Geographic magazine and traveling the world after serving in the military.

Mora, 27, was struck by shrapnel in a mortar attack at a military compound on June 6.

He was originally from the town of Arecibo on Puerto Rico's north-central coast, where his parents live. Mora most recently lived in Columbia, Mo., where he studied the origins of the universe at the University of Missouri at Columbia.

MARINE LANCE CPL. DESHON E. OTEY

Otey stood only about 5 feet, 5 inches tall, but he was known for his toughness on the football field in high school and dreamed of becoming an FBI agent.

Otey, 24, of Radcliff, Ky., was killed June 21 by hostile fire in Anbar province.

"He told me when he got out (of the Marines) he was going to join the Delta Force," the Army's elite fighting unit, his mother, Robin, said. "He liked that kind of work. He was a brave soldier, a proud soldier and a loving son."

MARINE CPL. TOMMY L. PARKER JR.

Parker was so eager to join the military that he signed up for the Reserves at 17, and went on active duty after high school graduation.

Parker, 21, of Heber Springs, Ark., died June 21 an ambush in Ramadi.

T.J. Parker probably decided to become a sniper because he loved hunting, his father, Tommy Sr., said. He had accompanied his father on deer and rabbit hunting trips since he was 3 years old.

He is survived by his wife, Carla, and a 2-year-old daughter, Lara.

MARINE LANCE CPL. BOB W. ROBERTS

When the Sept. 11 attacks inspired Roberts to enlist in the military, friends told him that, at 27, he was too old for the rigors of boot camp.

But Roberts trained hard before reporting for duty, bicycling 7 miles a day, lifting weights and jogging. When he graduated, he wore his uniform around his hometown of Newport, Ore., to show his friends just how wrong they were.

The 30-year-old heavy equipment operator was killed May 17 by hostile fire in Anbar province. The Marine loved practical jokes. As a child, he once left a live sturgeon in the bathtub to surprise his mother.

Roberts was good with kids. One friend said Roberts took her grandchildren crabbing and went out of his way to play video games with them.

ARMY MAJ. PAUL R. SYVERSON III

When CIA agent Johnny "Mike" Spann was killed in an Afghanistan prison uprising, Syverson was one of the Special Forces commandos sent in to retrieve his body and curtail the intense fighting.

Syverson was one of five soldiers injured in the November 2001 uprising by a misguided U.S. bomb, and earned a Purple Heart.

Syverson, 32, of Lake Zurich, Ill., was killed June 16 at a U.S. base north of Baghdad where he stopped to buy equipment for fellow soldiers from the 5th Special Forces Group, based at Fort Campbell.

Syverson had volunteered to go to Iraq a third time to set up for other soldiers to soon follow.

He is survived by his wife, Jackie, his son, Paul, 7, and daughter Amy, 2 months.

ARMY SGT. HUMBERTO F. TIMOTEO

Timoteo was so eager to join the military that he had his parents sign a waiver so he could enlist just shy of his 18th birthday.

Timoteo, 25, of Newark, N.J., was killed June 5 when a roadside bomb hit his armored vehicle. His unit was providing security for a convoy.

He had trained as a field artilleryman at Fort Sill, where he met his wife, Silvia. The two eloped to West Palm Beach in August 2002, where they spent their honeymoon.

ARMY 2ND LT. ANDRE D. TYSON

Tyson enjoyed gathering intelligence in the farmlands of Iraq, his family said. While patrolling, he found the residents to be generous and hospitable, serving soldiers tea and bread.

"He loved the military," Sigmund Crews said of his cousin. "All of his e-mails spoke positively about his experiences in Iraq."

The 33-year-old from Riverside, Calif., was killed June 22 in an ambush in Balad.

Survivors include his mother, Renee, and father, Lee.

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