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508th Parachute Infantry Regiment

June 17, 2007 | John L. Mitchell, Times Staff Writer
One of Alina Perez's earliest memories of her younger brother is of him on a beach in Coronado, Calif., running from a shadow cast by an airplane flying overhead and screaming: "Mom, help me! Help me!" That frightened 5-year-old grew up to become a soldier parachuting into combat out of helicopters -- a paradox that Perez has struggled to come to grips with since her brother's death June 6 in Afghanistan. Army Sgt. Charles E. Wyckoff, 28, of Chula Vista, Calif.
June 4, 2010 | By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times
From a rocky knoll 600 feet above the lush Arghandab Valley, the war in Afghanistan looks deceptively peaceful. At dawn Friday, Afghan girls stooped to milk cows in mud-walled compounds. Farmers trudged across furrowed fields, carrying scythes for cutting wheat. Boys flew kites of tattered plastic from rooftops. Donkeys brayed. Peering through the morning haze from his perch atop Observation Post Kuhat, Army Spc. Victor Smyrnow paid scant attention to the bucolic scene below.
December 6, 2009 | By Jill Leovy
The first time Marcus A. Tynes suited up for a youth basketball game, his mother saw the change. She already knew her big, vigorous boy would like sports. But she didn't realize how thrilled he would be just to don that team jersey. It made him proud, gave him a sense of belonging. "He just liked that uniform," she said. "It made him feel part of something." As he grew, one uniform followed another. One for football at Valley View High School in Moreno Valley, and another for track.
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