Capsules of U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq
Marine Pvt. Jonathan Gifford, 30, Decatur, Ill
Jonathan Gifford was always for the underdog, so it was fitting that he would be fighting for the Iraqi people’s freedom, his family said.
``He said, with the way people were treated over there, that he was willing to go,″ said his mother, Vicky Langley. ``I’m very proud of him.″
The 30-year-old was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade. He died March 23 in fighting as his unit worked to secure bridges on the outskirts of Nasiriyah.
Gifford graduated from high school in 1991 and joined the Marine Corps in 2001, fulfilling an ambition he had harbored since he was a teenager, said his father, John Gifford.
``He had wanted to join a couple times, and being a mother I convinced him not to. But the third time, I knew it was something he really wanted to do so I said OK,″ his mother said.
Langley, who got the news of her only son’s death on Friday, said she had kept up hope he would return. She said she took comfort Sunday watching her divorced son’s 4-year-old daughter, Lexie.
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jeff Bohr, 39, San Clemente, Calif
Gunnery Sgt. Jeff Bohr, a member of the 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment, ascended quickly in the Marines after spending a few years in the Army.
``When you make it up to the top end of the Marine Corps ... you know you’re pretty good,″ Eddie Bohr said.
Bohr died of gunshot wounds he received during a seven-hour battle outside a mosque in downtown Baghdad.
His father said Bohr was a quiet person who ran 10 miles a day and had finished several marathons.
Eddie Bohr received his final letter from his son hours before learning he had been killed in action. In the letter, mailed about two weeks ago, Jeff Bohr said he had just been through a sand storm and battle in the desert.
Jeff Bohr’s younger brother Richard is expected to go to Iraq the first week of May, Eddie Bohr said.
``It isn’t a good feeling, but you don’t get choices,″ Eddie Bohr said.