THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

US troops killed in Iraq and Kuwait

By The Associated Press
July 10, 2010

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

Text size +

Army Capt. Michael P. Cassidy

The last time Michael Cassidy was home on leave -- two weeks in the middle of his deployment to Iraq -- he took the daughters who his wife said were the "apples of his eyes" to the Carowinds theme park in South Carolina.

"Of course, I had a lot of errands for him to run and things to fix around the house," said Cassidy's wife, Johanna. "We just enjoyed being together."

It was extra special for his daughters, 10-year-old Catherine and 9-year-old Amber.

"He loved being a dad. He did everything for these children," Johanna Cassidy said.

The Army Captain died June 17 in Mosul, Iraq, of injuries not related to combat. He was assigned to Fort Stewart.

He started life as a computer specialist and later went to Sherman College in South Carolina to become a chiropractor. But then he joined the National Guard as a medic, and he decided to make it a career after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Others who served with Cassidy remembered him in an online memorial as a consummate soldier.

"He was such a shining light, someone who knew where he wanted to go and never waivered," said Amber Gloria, who had served with Cassidy in 2005.

------

Army Spc. Jacob P. Dohrenwend

While serving as an Army specialist in Iraq, Jake Dohrenwend sometimes used his money to buy items for Iraqi children.

"He always tried to lift the spirits of those around him, even in the worst of circumstances," said his mother, Shannon Abernathy.

Dohrenwend, a Milford, Ohio, native, enlisted in 2008, the same year he graduated from Milford High School. He kept in touch with one of his teachers, Allison Willson, and sent her a letter from Iraq in October after receiving a package from her.

"I'm just doing my part and serving the country I love," he wrote. "I'm thankful for the praise and the care packages, but it's really unnecessary because I would do this job even if no one knew or cared."

Dohrenwend, 20, died June 21 in Balad, Iraq, from injuries unrelated to combat. His death is under investigation. He was assigned to Fort Riley.

He also leaves behind his father, Jim Dohrenwend.

Dohrenwend left a message for friends and family to be read in the event of his death.

"I do not regret dying for a second," he wrote. "I only regret we did not have more time. This isn't really a good-bye, but a temporary distance between us."

------

Army Pfc. Bryant J. Haynes

Bryant "B.J." Haynes didn't write much on his Myspace profile. He let the pictures do the talking.

First on the list is his pit bull terrier, Flesh. Then come the photos of an athletic football player. In one, he's nearly upside down as he takes a hard tackle "for the team," as his caption puts it.

He's among a sea of red jerseys walking out of a giant animal's mouth onto the football field, "ready for whatever."

"He was a very selfless player who loved his teammates and his school," said John Carr, who coached Haynes at Ouachita Parish High School. Haynes had played for Carr as a wide receiver.

Haynes, 21, of Epps, La., was killed in a vehicle rollover June 26 in Al Diwaniyah, Iraq. He was based with the Army National Guard in Alexandria, La.

Haynes left his school and football team before graduating because he wanted to get his GED and serve in the military.

"He was a loving young man," said his stepfather, Tony Collins. "He was caring and respectable."

Haynes is survived by his mother, Linda Toney Collins; his father, Fredrick Nichols; fiancee, Lakeidra Taylor; and nine brothers and four sisters.

------

Army Sgt. Israel O'Bryan

Israel "Izzy" O'Bryan found love in the military.

Not necessarily with his career, but with the woman he wound up marrying -- Brenna -- who had been a soldier in the same brigade as O'Bryan. They had a son together, 1-year-old Turner.

His dedication to his family is evident on his Facebook page: "My life revolves around benefiting my family in any way that I can even if I have to do something that I hate."

O'Bryan, 24, of Newbern, Tenn., was killed by a suicide bomber June 11 in Jalula, Iraq. He was assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

An obituary published online said O'Bryan graduated from Dyer County High School in Tennessee and attended the University of Tennessee-Martin for a time. He enlisted in the Army in 2006.

The obituary says he was active in boxing, soccer and baseball and also "enjoyed a good shopping day!"

While his Facebook page indicates how seriously he took his duty to his wife and daughter, it also suggests a sense of humor. One of the quotes he posted reads, "Nobody worries about rearranging the seats on the Titanic."

Among others surviving O'Bryan are his mother, father, stepmother and stepfather.

------

Army Spc. Christopher W. Opat

Christopher Opat wasn't afraid to break a sweat, even as a youngster.

"He was always a really, really hard worker," said his brother, Jason Opat. "He would pick rock and bale hay when he was a kid."

He was a gentle person with an adventurous spirit and enjoyed pulling a good prank on his brothers every now and then, relatives said.

The military said only that the 29-year-old Iowan died June 15 in Baquah, Iraq, of injuries from a non-combat incident that was under investigation.

His hometown was listed as Spencer, in northwestern Iowa, but his family said he grew up on a farm near Lime Springs, in the northeastern part of the state. He was assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, served three years in Germany and had been deployed twice.

He had joined the Army to serve his country and to get money for school, Jason Opat said.

Christopher Opat graduated in 1999 from Crestwood High School in the northern Iowa town of Cresco and went on to earn an associate's degree in construction at Iowa Lakes Community College.

Survivors include his parents, Leslie Opat Sr. and Mary Katherine Opat, two other brothers and two sisters.

------

Army Sgt. Steve M. Theobald

Steve Theobald was remembered as a great leader that one soldier called the kind of officer he wanted to have with him on a deployment.

"He knew how to instill confidence in any soldier and I would have gone anywhere with him," Army Spc. David B. Emigh, who first met Theobald during training in Indiana, wrote in an online message board. "I hated that I was sent to Afghanistan and he stayed in Kuwait. 'Theo' will be missed by us all."

Theobald, 53, of Goose Creek, S.C., was killed June 4 near Kuwait City, Kuwait, in a vehicle roll-over. He was based in Livingston, Ala. The military is investigating what caused the crash.

Theobald was a highly decorated soldier who graduated from several military schools, according to the Summerville (S.C.) Journal Scene.

He first enlisted in the military in 1975 and served for three years. He then joined the Army Reserve in 1984 and had served ever since. He was on his second tour overseas, having served from 2003-2004 in Iraq.

He was born in Pensacola but lived in South Carolina with his wife and three children.

------

Army Spc. William C. Yauch

William Yauch was an outgoing guy who loved life and his country, relatives said.

"He very much loved the U.S. Army and was doing what he believed in and wanted to be doing," said his stepmother, Debbie Yauch.

The 23-year-old from Batesville, Ark., died June 11 in Jalula, Iraq, of wounds from a vehicle-borne explosive device. He was assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Debbie Yauch said her stepson was scheduled to come home in less than two months.

"Chris," as he was known, is being remembered for how he enjoyed a good game of paint ball, his passion for riding his motorcycle and his love of tinkering with his car.

"He was a friendly young man, pleasant to be around, just an all-around good guy," said principal David Campbell of Batesville High School, where Yauch graduated in 2005.

He enlisted in the Army in 2007 and married his wife, Mallory Rhodes, in February of the following year.

Other survivors include his mother and stepfather, Lucretia and Dennis Robertson; his father, Kurt Yauch; and four stepsisters, Jenny, Rachel, Barbara and Brenda.

Connect with Boston.com

Twitter Follow us on @BostonUpdate, other Twitter accounts