Mommy, everything over here is fine. Tell my dad that I'm still saying my prayers. See you soon.
— David T. Toomalatai, in an e-mail two days before his death
Toomalatai, a Samoan American, joined the Army when his girlfriend was pregnant, telling her that by enlisting he could better take care of their unborn son. He also saw it as a way to pay for college. Their baby boy was 10-months old when he was killed.
California's War Dead
is the Los Angeles Times' collection of stories about the 743 California servicemembers and 492 others based in California
who died during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Jennifer M. Moreno, 25, San Diego
Landon L. Jones, 35, Lompoc
Jonathan S. Gibson, 32, Aurora, Ore.
Robert E. Thomas Jr., 24, Fontana
Kenneth Clifford Alvarez, 23, Santa Maria
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reporters and Web developers at The Times.