A bugler plays

One soldier served his country to help provide for his wife and family.

Another followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, father and uncle.

Yet another

was a high school cheerleader before he joined the National Guard.

But while

their personal stories and the reasons they chose to serve vary, their

names are forever united on the growing list of local soldiers who are

casualties of ongoing wars.

On this Fourth

of July we celebrate freedom and liberty – the hallmarks of America. And

as we stand beside waving flags and under festive skies, we pay tribute

to the soldiers whose sacrifices helped secure our freedoms. •


– Photos from our pages

Lance Cpl. Brian A. MedinaLance

Cpl. Brian A. Medina


told me we shouldn’t leave. It would be a slap in the face to those

who had died.” -Cecil Medina, Lance Cpl. Medina’s uncle and a lieutenant

colonel in the U.S. Air Force.


– Soldier Brian Medina killed after writing home to father


– Lance Cpl. Brian A. Medina buried at Arlington



attack kills 24

A sudden, pinpoint attack killed more than 20 and wounded at least 60

others in a dining-hall tent inside a U.S. military compound near Mosul

yesterday. It was the deadliest single attack on U.S. troops since the

start of the Iraq war.




soldiers honored at memorial in Iraq

Hundreds of soldiers from across the United States filed into a cavernous

movie theater on base yesterday to say goodbye to two 276th soldiers who

died in the explosion: Nicholas C. Mason and David A. Ruhren. Both were

posthumously promoted to sergeant.



2004: Prince William area feels impact of war

The Prince William County area felt the anguish of a distant war in Iraq

and the battle against terrorism in Afghanistan in 2004 as some of its

own were killed and many more were sent to fight.



2004: Fallen soldiers

Each soldier either lived in or had family in the Prince William County

area and their losses put faces and stories on a war happening halfway

across the world.

Sgt. Morgan W. Strader

Sgt. Morgan W. Strader


think our country needs to know the price that’s being paid for what we’re

doing over there. Morgan, unfortunately, is one of many. People need to

realize that freedom is not free.” -Sgt. Strader’s stepfather, Timothy



– Montclair woman’s son killed in Iraq


– Fallen Marine wanted to help comrades

Sgt. Jack Bryant Jr.Sgt.

Jack Bryant Jr.


we didn’t have our faith, if we didn’t have our relationship with Jesus

Christ, I don’t know how we would deal with it. Hearing the news was paralyzing.”

-Jack Bryant, Sgt. Bryant’s father.


– Dale City soldier dies in Iraq


– Prince William soldier laid to rest

Spc. David RuhrenSpc.

David Ruhren


was the first person I met when I went to Gar-Field [High School]. We

had a class together and we met on the first day in German class … I

never thought that five years later I would have to bury him.” –

Amanda Menzie, Sgt. Ruhren’s classmate and friend.


– Spc. Ruhren, a 2002 Gar-Field graduate, was killed in Iraq


– Friends remember soldier

Army Sgt. Kristopher Linwood ShepherdArmy

Sgt. Kristopher Linwood Shepherd


loved what he was doing. He believed in our president and every time someone

would say something (like) how stupid it was we were over there, I’d get

so mad. But when I told him that, he’d say, ‘Don’t let it bother you,

Mom. I’m over here to give them that choice.’” – Sgt. shepherd’s

mother, Sheila Campbell


– Woodbridge family mourns fallen soldier


– Family buries area soldier

Staff Sgt. LeRoy Alexander


Sgt. LeRoy Alexander


always talked about wanting to be a father. He was so excited to be having

children. It’s so sad that he will never be able to see them.”

– Staff Sgt. Alexander’s brother, Reggie Alexander


– Family mourns fallen soldier


– Services held for fallen soldier

Staff Sgt. LeRoy AlexanderArmy

Capt. Humayun S.M. Khan


Khan, 27, of Bristow was the victim of a suicide bomber in Iraq on June

8, 2004. Khan wanted to go to law school and eventually enter politics.



Maj. Robert D. O’Dell


was so friendly and kind to me and it was a pleasure to know him.”

– the Riddle family of Dumfries


– Manassas soldier remembered as loving dad, husband




retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, died in Iraq March 9, 2004, while

working for the U.S. State Department. He was 44 and was shot by terrorists

disguised as police officers at a checkpoint north of Hilla. Zangas went

to Osbourn High School in Manassas.


Kyle M. Hemauer


Hemauer, 21, was a member of the National Guard in Manassas. He died while

serving in Afghanistan. He trained with the Manassas company but lived

in Newport News. His home town was Chilton, Wis.