On this Memorial Day, the Los Angeles Times and Times Community News pays tribute to the California service members who have died in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq by publishing a selection of comments posted over the last year by those who knew and loved them. Hundreds more can be read on The Times' database, California's War Dead.
These memories speak of friendship and loss in a simple and heartfelt way — and remind us of the great sacrifices made in service to this country.
More than 6,000 members of the American military have died since the conflict in Afghanistan began in late 2001. Among them are 701 Californians and an additional 474 men and women who were assigned to bases in this state.