Ivan E. Merlo, 19
He was one those people you knew was good from the moment you met him. . . . He never got into trouble. He didn't run the streets. He got good grades...He was just the kind of person that other people would go to and ask for advice.
— Diego Merlo, brother, in San Diego Union-Tribune
Merlo had planned to serve as best man at the wedding of his best friend, Phillip J. Pannier of Washburn, Ill. The two were killed in same firefight north of Baghdad two weeks before they were sceduled to come home, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.