Last Known Activity|
LCpl. Tony Hernandez was killed Jan. 26 when the CH-53E helicopter crashed near Rutbah, Iraq. An investigation found that the crew of the CH-53E became disoriented when weather turned bad, did not realize the helicopter was banking to the left, and flew the aircraft into the ground. Twenty-nine Marines and one sailor also were killed.
Four Marines from HMM-361 also lost their lives;
Captain Paul Alaniz
Capt. Lyle Gordon
SSgt. Dexter Kimble
LCpl. Tony Hernandez
The Marines lost from BLT 1/3 in the helicopter crash were:
1st Lt. Travis J. Fuller, 26, a native of Granville, Mass.
1st Lt. Dustin M. Shumney, 30, a native of Viellejo, Calif.
Staff Sgt. Brian D. Bland, 26, from Westion, Wyo.
Sgt. Michael W. Finke Jr., 28, from Huron, Ohio
Cpl. Richard A. Gilbert Jr., 26, a native of Montgomery, Ohio
LCpl. Stephen P. Johnson, 24, from Covina, Calif.
Cpl. Timothy A. Knight, 22, a native of Brooklyn, Ohio
Cpl. Timothy M. Gibson, 23, from Hillsborough, N.H.
Cpl. Sean P. Kelly, 23, from Gloucester, N.J.
Cpl. Kyle J. Grimes, 21, a native of North Hampton, Penn.
Cpl. Nathaniel K. Moore, 22, from Champaign, Ill.
Cpl. James L. Moore, 24, a native of Roseburg, Ore.
Cpl. Nathan A. Schubert, 22, from Cherokee, Iowa
Cpl. Matthew R. Smith, 24, a native of West Valley, Utah
Petty Officer 3rd Class John D. House, 28, from Ventura, Calif.
LCpl. Brian C. Hopper 21, a native of Wynne, Ark.
LCpl. Jonathan E. Etterling, 22, from Wheelersburg, Ohio
LCpl. Fred L. Maciel, 20, a native of Spring, Texas
LCpl. Allan Klein, 34, from Clinton Township, Mich.
LCpl. Gael Saintvil, 24, a native of Orange, Fl.
LCpl. Mourad Ragimov, 20, from San Diego, Calif.
LCpl. Rhonald Rairdan, 20, a native of San Antonio, Texas
LCpl. Saeed Jafarkhani-turshizi, 25, from Fort Worth, Texas
LCpl Hector Ramos, 20, a native of Aurora, Ill.
LCpl. Darrell J. Schumann, 25, from Hampton, Va.
LCpl. Joseph P. Spence, 24, from Scotts Valley, Calif.
Cpl. Michael L. Starr Jr., 21, a native of Baltimore, Md.
Comments/Citation|Lance Cpl. Tony Hernandez was rejected by Marine recruiters when he tried to enlist in his senior year of high school. They said that at 210 pounds, he was overweight. But the 22-year-old native of Canyon Lake, Texas, was determined to make the cut, said his father, Leroy Hernandez. He wanted to serve his country and had belonged to Junior ROTC in high school. In the fall of 2001, a few months after graduation, a local recruiter started exercising with Hernandez and he trimmed enough — 20 pounds — to be accepted. By the time he got out of boot camp, he'd lost a total of 50 pounds. "We hardly recognized him," his father said. Hernandez, a helicopter crew chief was based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif. "He was a kid that enjoyed helping people," his father said. "He was really good at that. He'd bend over backward to help anybody." His friends called him "Fuzzy" because he always kept his red hair cropped short. Whenever he called home, Hernandez didn't complain about the hardships of war. "He was always positive about things," his father said. Hernandez leaves behind a 21-year-old widow. The couple would have celebrated their first wedding anniversary next month. He is survived by his wife, Jacquie Hernandez, mother Janette Trout, father LeRoy Hernandez, step-mother Evelyn Hernandez, sister Tracy Mendez and husband Lucky, brother Christopher Hernandez and wife Amy, brother Charlie Hernandez and Staci Stephenson, grand parents, Darold and Alvena Wingert, step-grandparents, Jackie and Wilburn Simon, step-sister Melissa Everett and husband Jimmy, step-brothers Robert Mittelstadt and Austin Mittelstadt, mother-in-law Cindy King, numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, great uncles and great aunts.
Hill Country Memorial Gardens