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The Iraq War, 10 Years of Casualties: The Pass Feels its Touch

It's been 10 years since the start of the Iraq War. Banning lost one of its own in the Iraq War.

The 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq began 10 years ago this week– on March 19, 2003– and although officially "over," fighting continues with discouraging persistence.

By one count, the war is directly responsible for 189,000 deaths, not including those who died from hardship caused by the fighting.

CNN has a stunning map of all casualties in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

In all, 4,802 Americans and allies have died in the war, according to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, including 134 Virginians.

Among them, one man from Banning, who now has a road named in his honor in .  That restaurant has become a living tribute of sorts to the fallen Marine.

There are also a half dozen more Iraq war casualties from nearby Hemet and San Jacinto.

From the CNN war casualties web site:

  • 1st Lt. Joshua Michael Palmer, 25, from Banning. Died due to injuries received from hostile fire in Falluja, Anbar province, Iraq, on April 8, 2004.
  • Pfc. Aaron Joseph Ward, 19, from San Jacinto. Died of wounds suffered when his unit came under small arms fire while conducting cordon and search operations in Asad, Iraq, on May 6, 2008.
  • Cpl. Michael Anthony Estrella, 20, from Hemet.  Killed during combat operations in Haditha, Anbar province, Iraq, on June 14, 2006.
  • Chief Warrant Officer Keith Yoakum, 41, from Hemet.  One of two soldiers who died of wounds suffed when their AH-64D Apache attack helicopter was damaged by heavy machine gun fire and crashed during combat operations in Taji, Iraq, on Feb. 2, 2007.
  • Hospitalman Charles Otto Sare, 23, from Hemet.  Killed when a roadside bomb detonated during combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq, on Oct. 23, 2006.
  • Pfc. Kenny Francis Stanton Jr., 20, from Hemet.  Died of injuries suffered when a roadside bomb detonated near his vehicle in Baghdad, Iraq, on Oct. 13, 2006.
  • Spc. Jason Kristoffer Chappell, 22, from Hemet.  One of three soldiers killed when a car bomb detonated in Khalidiya, Iraq, on Jan. 24, 2004.3

Another loss felt locally was that of Army Spc. Michael Dahl Jr., of Beaumont, in the Afghanistan war.  Dahl died in October 2009 when his tank was hit by a roadside bomb in southwest Afghanistan Kandahar province on the Pakistan border, according to the Department of Defense.

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