US troops killed in Iraq and Kuwait

Army Sgt. John F. Burner III

John Burner III would go jogging with a military recruiter in high school, and that's where he solidified his plan for life.

"It was a pretty good plan," his father, John Burner Jr., told the Catonsville (Md.) Times.

The younger Burner became a satellite communication specialist and was no stranger to overseas deployments. He had served in Germany, Bosnia and Iraq, Burner Jr. said. Germany, though, is where he fell in love.

Burner and his wife, Verena, had two daughters, 10-year-old Celina and 6-year-old Caitlyn.

Burner, 32, of Baltimore, Md., died Sept. 16 in Iskandariya, Iraq, of an illness. The Army is investigating his death. He was assigned to Fort Gordon and enlisted in the military in 1996 after graduating from Catonsville High School.

Adam Burner said his older brother always took care of his family, even as a youngster.

"He was the oldest brother and he always stood up and stood first to take care of his brothers and family," Adam Burner said.

The soldier also was fondly remembered by his fellow soldiers.

"I can hear him now asking me how I am doing and just checking in, offering his help in whatever mess I was getting into," Tina McKenney-Smith of Hephzibah, Ga., wrote in an online memorial.


Army Spc. John Carrillo Jr.

John Carrillo's mother said he was a smart, avid reader who grew up fast as he entered fatherhood at 16.

As a student at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, Calif., he met an Army recruiter who pushed the 20-year-old to fulfill a lifelong goal of serving in the military.

"He thought this was going to help his family a little faster. It was a way to support his wife and his child," his mother, Desiree Carrillo, told the Stockton Record. "I was very proud of him when he decided to go into the military."

John Carrillo, of Stockton, died Sept. 24 in Fallujah, Iraq, after being injured a day earlier in a non-combat related incident.

He is survived by his children and wife, Reylene; his mother and father, John Sr.; and three younger siblings.

"He was always there for his family. He was a good son, a good father, a good brother and a good husband. I will never get to see that again. He was a good friend to many people," his mother said.


Air Force Senior Airman James A. Hansen

James "Jimmy" Hansen was quiet, well-behaved and kind, the type of student who always gave his full effort and befriended other children who were ignored, according to a former teacher.

"You could tell he genuinely meant it when he said he was glad to see you," Judi Henckel told the Battle Creek Enquirer.

Hansen, 25, of Athens, Mich., died Sept. 15 of wounds suffered during a controlled detonation at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. He joined the Air Force in 2008 and was assigned to Eglin Air Force Base.

He graduated in 2003 from Athens High School, where he played golf, and had attended Kellogg Community College and Central Michigan University, where he was a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity.

In online memorials, those who knew him referred to "Jimmy" as a "faithful friend" who loved to have fun and had "a heart of gold." A former co-worker, Crystal Thomas, wrote that Hansen was hardworking and that he could be shy at first but was honest with those he knew well.

He also liked to run and play the drums.

Survivors include his parents, Emily and Richard; brother, also named Richard; and fiancee, Megan Bottomlee.


Army Sgt. Ryan Hopkins

Some of Ryan Hopkins' favorite ways to pass the time were skateboarding, golfing and snowboarding.

Born in Livermore, Calif., Hopkins graduated from Livermore High School. He had an outgoing personality, lots of friends and a love for life, according to an obituary published in the Contra Costa Times.

Hopkins "was sure to be found in a crowd," his family said.

Hopkins, 21, died Jan. 8 after a routine surgery at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, his family said. He was being treated for injuries from an October 2008 motor pool accident in Baghdad. The Department of Defense did not include Hopkins in its count of Iraq war casualties until September.

He had been assigned to Fort Carson in 2008. At the time of his death, he was assigned to Fort Sam Houston.

His wife, Kitty Hopkins, whom he met in the military, said his injuries included second- and third-degree burns from the waist up. He had been expected to survive, she said.


Army Sgt. Philip C. Jenkins

The photos displayed at a memorial for Philip Jenkins showed the moments when he was all about the ladies in his life — his wife, Melissa, and two daughters, Lindly and Piper.

In one, he dipped his wife as they danced, according to the Journal-Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind. In other pictures, he cradled an infant and held the hand of a child during a walk near the ocean.

The family lives in Hawaii, where Jenkins was assigned to Schofield Barracks.

The 26-year-old native of Decatur, Ind., and another soldier died Sept. 7 in Balad, Iraq, after being shot by a man wearing an Iraqi army uniform in Salah ad-Din province. The incident was under investigation.

Maj. Gen. Kurt Stein, who spoke at the memorial, called Jenkins "a soldier's soldier," the newspaper said.

Jenkins joined the Army after graduating from Bellmont High School in 2002 and was on his second tour of duty, having previously served in Afghanistan, according to the military.

He also had worked as a recruiter in Indianapolis from August 2006 to October 2008, the newspaper reported.


Army Pvt. James F. McClamrock

James McClamrock loved his wife, Shannah — so much so that he refused to show her picture to his Army buddies.

He didn't want other men thinking about his wife, his father, Mark McClamrock, said at the soldier's memorial service. And James McClamrock was looking forward to starting a family with the woman he married in 2008.

"He was so jealous about Shannah," Mark McClamrock said.

The 22-year-old soldier from Huntersville, N.C., was shot and killed by a man in an Iraqi army uniform Sept. 7 in Balad. Another soldier also died in the attack. He graduated from South Iredell High School.

He was such a dedicated soldier, his mother said, he made sure to maintain his physical edge even while on leave. He would awaken before dawn and go for a 10-mile run wearing a 60-pound backpack, said his mother, Susan McClamrock.

Before joining the military, McClamrock worked as a security screener in Charlotte, N.C., for the Transportation Security Administration.

"He's always had an interest in it as long as I've known him. But he'd been praying about it and he was like, 'I really feel like this is what God wants me to do,'" Shannah McClamrock told The Associated Press in September. "Who was I to stop that?"


Army Pfc. Gebrah P. Noonan

Gebrah Noonan loved to read, loved his country and loved to make people laugh.

He was such a comedian, his high school class voted him class clown. And it wasn't just silly humor, it was sophisticated, friends say.

"He had a quick wit. It all comes from his intelligence," said longtime friend Patrick Jacques Jr.

But Noonan was serious about his country — so much so that the Watertown, Conn., native joined the U.S. Army and was serving in Iraq.

He died Sept. 24 from a gunshot wound in Fallujah. An investigation is focused on a fellow soldier. He was assigned to Fort Stewart.

Noonan, 26, was a 2002 graduate of Watertown High School. He attended Manhattanville College and Fordham University before joining the Army.

He leaves behind his parents, Ling and William, two brothers and a sister.

Friends, such as Chris Lafferty, are trying to focus on his life rather than his death.

"He wasn't just funny, he wasn't just smart, he was very giving, and in his 26 years he gave a lot," Lafferty said. "And in the end, he gave everything."


Army Spc. Marc C. Whisenant

Marc Whisenant liked to drive. When he was in uniform, he drove tanks and Humvees. Back home, his father said, he cruised around in his 2007 Chevy Cobalt SS.

Jerry Whisenant told The Daytona Beach News-Journal that his son had just spent $800 to put top-of-the-line tires on the car.

Friends and family said Marc Whisenant was a dutiful soldier who had learned that sense of duty as a Boy Scout.

"He was quiet, but he was determined, and if we had his determination today, we'd all be closer to perfection," said Roger Tiffany, who had been Whisenant's Boy Scout leader.

Whisenant, 23, of Holly Hill, Fla., was killed Sept. 24 in a vehicle rollover. He was based out of Miami. Whisenant graduated in 2005 from Spruce Creek High School, where he had been a member of the school's junior ROTC program all four years.

Tiffany recalled the young man's patience as a young scout, including the time Whisenant broke his arm during an activity. He didn't gripe once, sitting quietly and calmly in the hospital waiting room.

"Marc will get along fine in eternity because he was (fine with waiting) in an emergency room," Tiffany said.