US troops who have died while serving in Iraq and Kuwait

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

US troops killed in Iraq and Kuwait

Army Pvt. Francisco J. Guardado-Ramirez

Francisco Guardado-Ramirez, whose nickname was “Gordo,” was described by one officer as the “rock in his platoon.”

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips said that 21-year-old Guardado-Ramirez often manned a howitzer and stood watch in a prominent guard tower while serving in Iraq.

Phillips said Guardado-Ramirez worked in a type of tower that was often targeted by insurgents.

“He volunteered for every mission and excelled,” Phillips said. “That adds up to a versatile and dedicated soldier.”

Guardado-Ramirez, of Sunland Park, N.M., was killed June 2 in a traffic accident in Baghdad where a heavily armored Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle he was in ran into a highway overpass, Army officials said. He was assigned to Fort Stewart.

Phillips said the field artillery soldier will be remembered for his “quick wit and quiet calm.”

A memorial tree was planted in July on Fort Stewart’s Warriors Walk to honor Guardado-Ramirez and his service.

Army Sgt. Johnny W. Lumpkin

Johnny Lumpkin was a bit older than most of his fellow soldiers seven years ago during basic training — he was 31, surrounded by many young men fresh out of high school — earning him the nickname “Private Paw-Paw.”

But he was respected — in fact, he died in an accident trying to save another soldier’s life. He had been working on a radar tower in Taji, Iraq, when a hydraulic line broke. Lumpkin had just enough time to push another soldier out of the way as the equipment fell, said his father, Wayne Lumpkin.

Friends and family said that was typical of the man known for helping repair a friend’s brakes or aiding another who had been stranded while off-roading.

“He was always the first to help no matter what, and I truly feel that’s what he was doing the day that tragic accident happened,” said neighbor Jeannie Lujan.

Lumpkin, 38, died July 2. He was assigned to Fort Stewart.

The soldier, who leaves behind a wife and two children, also was known for his cheerful demeanor and contagious smile.

“… He was one of those types of people that just he could walk into a pitch-black room and it would light up,” said Frankie Eide, who grew up with Lumpkin.

Army Spc. Morganne M. McBeth

Those who knew Morganne McBeth said she was a spunky woman who was always smiling and loved to jump out of airplanes.

She was a paratrooper and medic who would be dropped into combat zones to treat wounded soldiers. Her brother, Army Sgt. Christopher McBeth, said she was hoping to earn the rank of sergeant so she could fly even more missions.

“Morganne treated all of her patients with unsurpassed compassion, regardless of their injury or illness severity,” Lt. Abraham Medina Jr., a physician’s assistant who served with McBeth, said in a statement.

McBeth, 19, of Fredericksburg, Va., died July 2 in Al Asad, Iraq, of injuries suffered a day earlier in an incident not related to combat in Khan Al Baghdadi. She was assigned to Fort Bragg.

Army Spc. Ebony Swinson wrote in an online memorial that she attended basic training with McBeth, who “was always so happy and bubbly; a true joy to be around because she was always smiling and making the best of whatever life put before her.”

Army Spc. Ryan Evans also recalled his days with McBeth during basic training, writing in an online posting that he fondly remembered their days playing basketball and football.

McBeth also is survived by her father and stepmother.

Army Sgt. Jordan E. Tuttle

Jordan Tuttle’s travels as a member of a Louisiana-based Army band are well-documented on his Facebook page, which is loaded with photos: A camel standing in the desert, images of historic ruins and a giant poster with Arabic script.

In one, the soldier is in his combat fatigues hoisting a Red Bull energy drink in the air to toast a buddy. There are pictures of tanks and Humvees. But in most of the photos, Tuttle is flashing a wide smile next to friends.

Many of the photos were posted on July 1, the day he arrived at Forward Operating Base Prosperity, according to an update he posted on the page. The 22-year-old from West Monroe, La., died the next day in Baghdad of injuries suffered in a noncombat incident. He was based in Bossier City, La.

Tuttle’s family has requested privacy according to local media reports, and little information about him could be found outside of his Facebook page and notes left in online memorials.

“Thanks for letting me borrow your (combat fatigues) and putting up with my bad driving on the rides to and from drill,” Melissa Wilson wrote in one. She served with Tuttle in the Army band. “… I’m so glad to have known you — rest easy, Brother.”

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