I don't want you to sit here worrying about me, Mom. I'm safe.
— Matthew L. Tallman, message left on his mother's answering machine
Tallman's voice doesn't just remain on his mother's answering machine. Before he left for Iraq, he recorded a greeting on a stuffed dog that he purchased for his daughter: "Sandie, I love you and I miss you, and I'll never ever forget about you. I love you very much."
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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reporters and Web developers at The Times.