- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 26, 2003

From combined dispatches
A Georgian who loved hunting and fishing; a native of New Zealand who dreamed of an Army career since childhood; an immigrant from Guatemala these are some of the first U.S. troops killed or captured in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"That's part of war," the father of a Marine killed in Iraq said yesterday.
"It's time to take the gloves off," Garry Fribley told reporters after learning that his son, Lance Cpl. David Fribley, 26, was killed in the battle for a key river crossing. "We're so intent on being the nice guys, and [enemy troops] are not going to abide by anything."
Mr. Fribley, of Atwood, Ill., said his son enlisted in the Marines partly because of his anger over the September 11 terrorist attacks, and knew the risks of combat.
"We had talked about this long before this started that something like this might happen," Mr. Fribley said.
Pentagon officials have confirmed a total of 20 U.S. troops killed and 14 missing since the war with Iraq began last week.
Chief Warrant Officer Ronald D. Young Jr., 26, loved to hunt and fish but even more loved to fly, so at age 22 he joined the Army.
A native of Lithia Springs, Ga., Warrant Officer Young was a pilot on an Apache attack helicopter forced down in heavy fighting Monday.
Kaye Young said she was "hysterical" when she first saw the downed Army helicopter on TV, but was reassured by Iraqi footage that showed her son eating and drinking in captivity.
"I don't think he looked frightened," Mrs. Young said. "He looked stubborn, mad. He probably was frightened, though."
Warrant Officer Young's crew mate, Chief Warrant Officer David S. Williams, 30, of Orlando, Fla., played high school football and attended community college before joining the Army. He has a 2-year-old son and a 5-month-old daughter.
Sgt. Michael Bitz shipped out with the Marines Jan. 12 a month before his wife gave birth to twins and was killed in a firefight Sunday.
Sgt. Bitz, 31, of Ventura, Calif., was a father of four, including the twins he never saw.
"He was leading his troop into some kind of compound when he was shot," said his mother, Donna Bellman. "He believed he was helping to liberate people. He believed he was fighting for their freedom, for our freedom."
In addition to Cpl. Fribley and Sgt. Bitz, the Pentagon yesterday named seven other Marines killed Sunday in a firefight in Nasiriyah. All were based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.: Cpl. Brian Rory Buesing, 20, Cedar Key, Fla.; Cpl. Randal Kent Rosacker, 21, San Diego; Cpl. Jose Garibay, 21, Orange, Calif.; Cpl. Jorge Gonzalez, 20, Los Angeles; Staff Sgt. Phillip Jordan, 42, Brazoria, Texas; 2nd Lt. Frederick Pokorney Jr., 31, Nye, Nev.; and Lance Cpl. Thomas Slocum, Adams, Colo.
Also, 19-year-old Army Spc. Gregory Sanders of Hobart, Ind., was killed in a sniper shooting in Iraq in what the Pentagon described as an Iraqi ambush.
Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, 22, a Guatemalan immigrant, became one of the first combat casualties of the war when he was killed Friday near Umm Qasr.
"He joined the Marines to pay back a little of what he'd gotten from the U.S.," said his foster brother, Max Mosquera. "For him it was a question of honor."
Sgt. James Riley, 31, wanted to join the Army even when he was a boy growing up in New Zealand. He moved to New Jersey with his family when he was 10 and enlisted right out of high school.
"It was his dream; it was his life choice," his mother, Jane Riley, said.
Sgt. Riley is one of at least five members of the 507th Maintenance Company captured after Iraqi forces ambushed a supply convoy in Nasiriyah.
In addition to Sgt. Riley, four other members of the 507th were shown on Iraqi TV: Army Spc. Shoshana Johnson, 30; Spc. Joseph Hudson, 23, Alamogordo, N.M.; Pfc. Patrick Miller, 23, of Park City, Kan.; and Pfc. Edgar Hernandez, 21, Mission, Texas.
Among the other soldiers missing in the Nasiriyah ambush were Pvt. Brandon Sloan, 19, Bedford Heights, Ohio; Pfc. Lori Piestewa, 22, Tuba City, Ariz.; Pfc. Jessica Lynch, 19, Palestine, W.Va.; and Spc. James Kiehl, 22, Comfort, Texas.
Wartime accidents accounted for other deaths in Iraq.
Lance Cpl. Eric Orlowski, 26, of Buffalo, N.Y., was killed Saturday in an accidental discharge of a .50-caliber machine gun. A reservist assigned to a Marine tank battalion, he was the father of a 3-year-old girl. Army Spc. Brandon S. Tobler, 19, of Portland, Ore., died Saturday when the Humvee he was riding in crashed into the back of another vehicle during a blinding sandstorm.

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