Justin A. Casillas, 19
Casillas grew up in the tiny town of Dunnigan in the farm country north of Sacramento. An active, sometimes mischievous child, he talked about wanting to join the military "as far back as I can remember, since he was 3 or 4," said his mother, Donna Casillas. He died July 4, 2009, while carrying a wounded soldier after a surprise attack on a combat outpost in the Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan.
Sources: Times research, Defense Department, iCasualties.org