On this Memorial Day, the Los Angeles Times pays tribute to the California service members who have died in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
More than 6,900 members of the American military have died since the conflict began in late 2001. Among them are 761 Californians, including five who died this past year.
Below is a selection of comments posted by readers who knew and loved those who died. These memories speak of friendship and loss in a simple and heartfelt way — and remind us of the sacrifices made in service to this country.
Hundreds more can be read on The Times' database, California's War Dead