I'm this close to losing my head. Everything's gotten real ugly.
— Jesus Angel Gonzalez, in one of his final letters to his wife, talking about sand storms ripping apart his tent
Gonzalez was born in Mexico into an activist family. In high school, he wore a brown beret and styled himself after Che Guevara. He dropped out of UC Riverside and joined the Marines but later told a family member that he had made a mistake by enlisting.
California's War Dead
is the Los Angeles Times' collection of stories about the 736 California servicemembers and 490 others based in California
who died during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Jeffrey C. Baker, 29, Hesperia
William J. Gilbert, 24, Hacienda Heights
Victoria A. Pinckney, 27, Palmdale
Herman Mackey III, 30, Bakersfield
Trinidad Santiago Jr., 25, San Diego
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