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Remembering California's war dead

September 20, 2009

Since late 2001, The Times has chronicled the lives of military personnel who have died while serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their stories, photos, personal websites and additional material have been collected in the California's War Dead database. Readers are invited to leave memories of their loved ones and colleagues at latimes.com/wardead. Here are some recent posts:

"Baby Girl, I still remember all the times in the bay me and you would laugh and talk. I miss the crazy things you used to do and the way everyone would get so mad at you when you would come in and be loud and how I would take you back to your bunk and try to bribe you into going to sleep and then we would just laugh. I still can't believe you're gone. You will forever stay in my heart and mind. I Love You!"

posted Friday on Army Pvt. Janelle F. King, 23, of Merced, who died of noncombat-related injuries Aug. 14, 2008, in Baghdad

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"Well to start off, I want to say I love you. well I have one of the most amazing memories with you. so many loving memories so many nights that we would talk about life, love and so many other things. I will always love you and I will always miss you. I remember it was my birthday and u left ur lil job in plmdl to come see me u smelled like cows and poop. lol. but I still kissed you and hugged you. you will always be in my memories and in my heart. God has helped me threw this and I know ur with him now. I feel you with me I see you in my dreams you look so at peace and so happy just like always thank you so much for loving me until the day u passed. I will always be ur lil sugar plum. I love you today tomorrow and always."

posted Wednesday on Marine Lance Cpl. Javier Olvera, 20, of Palmdale, who was killed in combat Aug. 8 in southwest Afghanistan's Helmand province, on the Pakistani border

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"For all of those who have fallen, and all those who and which I've had the [honor] to [serve]with, my only regret is that I wasn't by your side and able to serve with you. You were a soul that I will not forget and will carry your memory with me until my day of death. You died for me and my newborn child; what more could we really ask. If I could trade it out, your life for mine, I wish you would have just of asked, cause it seems to me you should of had more time. But this is life, from what I have seen, not so fair and oh so mean. I will love you always for how you were, I'll never forget you and that's for sure."

posted Wednesday on Army Spc. Jonathan D. Welch, 19, of Yorba Linda, who was one of two soldiers killed Aug. 31 when a roadside bomb exploded near them in Shuyene Sufia, Afghanistan

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"I just found out today what happened. I went to basic with Wolverton just a few short months ago. I never really got to know him as well as I should have. He was always a good guy though. You'll be missed man. And when I go over there, I'll be thinking about you."

posted Tuesday on Army Pfc. Brian M. Wolverton, 21, of Oak Park, who was killed Aug. 20 when his unit was attacked with indirect fire -- a military term that usually refers to a mortar or rocket attack -- in eastern Afghanistan's Kunar province, on the Pakistani border

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"James, I love you so much. I want you here with me right now; your sweetest blessing god has or ever taken away from me and at the same time given me. I looked up to you so much and you were such a special and sweet person; god couldn't wait any longer, I'm taking care of jesse for you now. [You're] my only older brother and I miss you so much but I know [you're] in heaven. I promised you I wouldn't let you go to war alone and I'm not; my RE code is getting changed right now. I love you. I know [you're] watching over our family; please watch over me when I deploy overseas so that I can be there for mom, jesse, jordan everyone in our family. I love you with all my heart. This world's [gotten] so cold and alone when you left. I love you, save me a spot in heaven. I promise i'm gonna make you proud."

posted Monday on Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class James R. Layton, 22, of Riverbank, who was among four troops killed Sept. 8 during a firefight with insurgents who ambushed their unit in eastern Afghanistan's Kunar province, on the Pakistani border

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"To Alexander and our fallen brothers in arms. . . . God bless you, Alex, rest in peace. You paid the ultimate sacrifice. You will never be forgotten."

posted Monday on Army Spc. Alexandre A. Alexeev, 23, of Wilmington, who was among five soldiers killed May 27, 2007, when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle northeast of Baghdad

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