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Remembering Local Heroes Who Died For Freedom

Orange County has lost its share of residents in the war on terror. Here is a list of the fallen servicemen and women

On this Memorial Day, it's a time of reflection and remembrance for those who gave their lives for this country.

The Orange County Register has compiled a list of 68 heroes who left home to fight a war on terror—and died doing it.

The list begins with Marine Gunnery Sgt. Stephen Bryson of Rancho Santa Margarita, killed Jan. 9, 2002 in Pakistan at age 36 after his KC-135 refueling plane crashed into the side of a mountain; he was one of seven who died in the crash.

The most recent was Army PFC Christian R. Sannicolas, killed April 28 in Afghanistan at age 20 when his vehicle struck a roadside mine.

In between are 66 shattered dreams. 

Among those from Patch cities are:

  • Spc. Justin Willard Pollard (21) of Foothill Ranch, who died Dec. 30, 2003.
  • Sgt. Eliu Miersandoval (27) of San Clemente, who died Jan. 31, 2004.
  • Lance Cpl. Derek Lloyd Gardner (20) of San Juan Capistrano, who died Sept. 6, 2004.
  • Sgt. Quoc Binh Tran (26) of Mission Viejo, who died Nov. 7, 2004.
  • Maj. Ricardo Antonio Crocker (39) of Mission Viejo, who died May 26, 2005.
  • Maj. Megan M. McClung (34) of Mission Viejo, who died Dec. 6, 2006.
  • Lance Cpl. Daniel John Santee (21) of Mission Viejo, who died April 14, 2007.
  • Navy SEAL Mark Metherell (39) of Laguna Beach, who died March 12, 2008.
  • Spc. Marques Irving Knight (24) of San Juan Capistrano, who died Sept. 6, 2008.
  • Lance Cpl. Donald James Hogan (20) of San Clemente, who died August 26, 2009.
  • Spc. Matthew Swanson (20) of Lake Forest, who died Sept. 5, 2009.
  • Marine Sgt. Kenneth B. May (26) of San Clemente, who died May 11, 2010.
  • Marine Sgt. Jason D. Peto (31) of Mission Viejo, who died Dec. 7, 2010.
  • Marine Cpl. Jordan Robert Stanton (20) of Rancho Santa Margarita, who died March 4, 2011.
  • Army Sgt. Tyler N. Holtz (22) of Dana Point, who died Sept. 24, 2011.
  • Marine Cpl. Christopher G. Singer (23), formerly of Lake Forest, who died Jan. 21, 2012.

For the complete list, click here.

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