His passion was always to be where the action was. He could have stayed at Bethesda Naval Hospital and been a corpsman. My son believed in what he was doing and he kept volunteering. He didn't have to be there.
— Steve Retmier, father
Retmier was the 500th Californian to die in Iraq or Afghanistan, and the seventh from the working-class city of Hemet.
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.