Kenneth Michael Ballard,
Don't worry about us. We know what we're doing.
— Kenneth Ballard, in an e-mail to his mother
It took more than a year for the military to inform Ballard's family that he was not killed in action, as the Army originally said, but from an accidental discharge of a weapon in his tank.
California's War Dead
is the Los Angeles Times' collection of stories about the 744 California servicemembers and 493 others based in California
who died during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Edward Balli, 42, Monterey
Matthew R. Rodriguez, 19, Fairhaven, Mass.
Jennifer M. Moreno, 25, San Diego
Landon L. Jones, 35, Lompoc
Jonathan S. Gibson, 32, Aurora, Ore.
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