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Central Florida's war dead: The stories of the fallen soldiers

See photos of our local heroes.

  • Army Pfc. Michael Russell Creighton-Weldon

    There were no yellow ribbons tied to trees Monday outside the pink stucco house Pfc. Michael Russell Creighton-Weldon called home. There was a handwritten note taped to the door beneath a heart-shaped wreath. "I appreciate your interest but none of us want to talk about our loss or be filmed,"...

  • Army Sgt. 1st Class Bradley C. Fox

    Sgt. 1st Class Bradley C. Fox planned on finishing his tour in Iraq and then re-enlisting as a recruiter in the Midwest. He wanted to retire from the Army with 20 years of service. His uncle, Jim Aldrich, called Fox a "dedicated military professional who wanted to finish his career in the military...

  • Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald A. Ginther

    Jimmy Ginther always told his older brother Ronald that he worked too hard. "Enjoy life," the younger sibling would say. But Ronald Ginther was "hardheaded" and did whatever he could to provide for his wife and three children. That's what the Polk County resident was trying to do when he was killed...

  • Marine Cpl. Dustin H. Schrage

    Last month, Nina Schrage attended the funeral of a 19-year-old Bradenton man, killed along with 10 other Marines from her son's unit when their patrol was ambushed by Iraqi insurgents. "It hit home. The danger they were in was very apparent," she said Friday night. "The reality hit that it could...

  • Marine Cpl. Ronald Payne Jr.

    By the time Ronald R. Payne Jr. finished at Mulberry High School, there was no doubt that he would become a U.S. Marine like his father and uncles before him. But he knew that service could be costly, friends say. Cpl. Ronald R. Payne Jr., 23, a member of the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance, 2nd...

  • Alwyn "Al" Cashe: Hundreds mourn fallen hero

    Sergeant died because he rescued his men after roadside blast in Iraq

  • Alexander Rosa Jr.: Orlando soldier killed in Iraq

    Army Spc. Alexander Rosa Jr. died after a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle northeast of Baghdad.

  • Army Spc. Marques I. Knight

    Marques I. Knight had a tough childhood. As his sister, Summer, recalled, their parents died when they were both young in Alabama. The siblings spent a brief time with a grandmother in Idaho and eventually were adopted by an uncle, Jerry Knight, in Florida. "He refused to be what life had dealt...

  • Army Staff Sgt. John A. Reiners

    Army Staff Sgt. John A. Reiners, 24, of Lakeland was among three soldiers who died of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan on Friday. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th...

  • Army Sgt. Keith A. Coe

    An Army sergeant from Polk County was killed in Iraq when his unit was attacked with a bomb, the Department of Defense said Thursday. Sgt. Keith A. Coe, 30, of Auburndale died Tuesday in the attack in Khalis, Iraq. Records with his unit show Coe enlisted July 24, 2007, and completed basic training...

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