Ronnie J. Pallares, 19
I looked him straight in the eye and asked him, 'You are telling me that you are willing to die for this country?’ He stood up and said, ‘Yes, mom. Either you sign this or I will sign up when I am 18.’ I decided to support him. I’ll never forget that day.
— Brenda Pallares, mother
Pallares had talked about becoming a police officer or perhaps going into journalism because he loved to write. He had never indicated an interest in the military, and at first his mother was not prepared to give permission for her oldest child to join before the age of 18. He died Oct. 23 in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. It was five days before his 20th birthday.