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Arizona deaths from March 2003 thru present. This list was compiled from AP's casualty database, which notes the city of residence used by the military and as such may not contain all casualties with Arizona connections.

Navajo Nation/Hopi Reservation deaths (Some are referred to below):

U.S. Army SPC Clint Lamebear

U.S. Army SPC Lori Piestewa

U.S. Army PFC Sheldon Hawk Eagle

U.S. Army SGT Lee Duane Todacheene

U.S. Army PFC Harry N. Shondee Jr.

USMC LOCL Quinn A. Keith

USMC CPL Bernice K. Yazzie

USMC LCPL Jonathan Grant

USMC LCPL Kevin B. Joyce

U.S. Army CPL Lyle J. Cambridge

U.S. Army SGT Marshall A. Westbrook

USMC CPL Breet Lee Lundstrom

U.S. Army SGT Clifton J. Yazzie


Died March 23, 2003, in combat. The Tuba City native was 23.

Pfc. Lori Piestewa, a Hopi Indian, was the daughter of a Vietnam veteran and the granddaughter of a World War I veteran. She was a source of pride for Tuba City, Ariz., a town of 8,200 people on the Navajo Nation but close to Hopi land.

Piestewa was with a convoy of the 507th Maintenance Company when it was ambushed. She was the first American servicewoman killed in the war in Iraq.

Piestewa was a single mother raising a 4-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl. She enlisted in the Army two years ago and had served as a commanding officer of Junior ROTC in high school.

"She will be remembered as a daughter, as a proud mother of two, as a good friend able to comfort others in distress," said Hopi Tribal Chairman Wayne Taylor.


Died Sept. 15, 2003, from a non-combat weapons discharge. The Flagstaff resident was 27.

Spc. Alyssa R. Peterson was a woman of faith who had a gift for learning foreign languages.

"She was a quiet, very intelligent woman who asked a lot of good questions about life and religion," said Terry Leisek, who taught Peterson at a theological training center for members of the Mormon faith.

Peterson was stationed at Fort Campbell before being deployed to conduct interrogations and translate enemy documents. Peterson graduated from Northern Arizona University in May 2001 with a degree in psychology. She was fluent in Dutch and easily mastered Arabic at the military's Defense Language Institute after enlisting in July 2001.

During her time at NAU, Peterson also attended the Flagstaff Institute of Religion, the theological training center.

"She was a very, very good lady who will be missed by a large number of friends," Leisek said.


Died April 20, 2005, in an explosion. The Flagstaff resident was 22.

The last time he was home, Marty Mortenson bought his nephews toys to make up for birthdays he'd missed. He volunteered to shovel snow off neighbors' driveways. He went to a women's prayer group to thank them for praying to keep him safe. And he did all of it in a T-shirt, to feel the winter cold that he missed in the desert.

Mortenson was killed by an explosive device in Ramadi. He was based at Camp Pendleton. Mortenson grew up wanting to join the Marines, talking about it with high school friends and saying he was prepared to give his life for his country. He worked as a lifeguard in high school and joined the Marines in May 2002, about a year after graduating. He was on his third tour in Iraq, and family members said he was ready to come home.

"During his time in the military, he began to change and the rough, tough stuff became less important," said his mother, Ruth.

He planned a hike the Grand Canyon with his mom when he got back, and talked about joining a SWAT team, switching to the National Guard or going to college.

He is also survived by his father, Ken.


Died Sept. 6, 2004, in a car bombing. The Page resident was 21.

A quiet young man who loved fishing, hunting and wrestling, Quinn A. Keith was determined to fulfill his duty in Iraq, his family said.

"He was scared to be there, but he knew he had to be there," Clyde Keith said of his nephew, who enlisted one week after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The weapons specialist was killed by a car bomb in Iraq's Anbar province. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton. The Marine's uncle, who became his legal guardian after the boy's parents divorced, said one of the best things about the Marine was the love he showed for his family.

"He was just one of those kids you wish you could have for a son," Clyde Keith said. Keith, a Navajo, was scheduled to return from Iraq in three weeks and had plans to go deer hunting, his uncle said.

Survivors include the Marine's mother.


Died Aug. 21, 2004, in a vehicle accident. The Camp Verde resident was 32.

When Pat Potter recalls her great-nephew, she can't help but remember the pet raccoon he had when he was 10 and a messy day the animal and its owner had years ago.

"The raccoon chased the cat down the chimney, and they had soot all over his house, and he had to clean up all the soot," Potter said of Edward Reeder. "My favorite memory is of him and his raccoon."

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Reeder died when his Humvee hit a tank and flipped over. He was based at Camp Pendleton, Calif. After he graduated from high school in 1990, Reeder joined the Marines. He taught other soldiers how to shoot weapons and he also worked as a supply officer. His career led to service in Bosnia, Liberia, Somalia and in the Persian Gulf.

"I think he decided that was what he wanted to do," Potter said. "His father was a cowboy, and maybe the military was a way out of ranch life."

He had two children with his wife, Christine Reeder — 10-month-old Jarrett and 4-year-old Sarah Ruth.

"He couldn't have died doing a better thing," his wife said.


Died Aug. 3, 2004, in an explosion. The Ganado resident was 19.

Harry Shondee used to pick up his family members like dolls, squeezing them in bear hugs that showed his strength and tenderness at the same time.

"He was happier than all of us," said Myron Shondee, 29, one of Shondee's five older siblings.

Shondee died when a bomb detonated near his patrol vehicle in Baghdad, Iraq. He was stationed in Fort Hood, Texas. Shondee graduated last year from high school, where he was inducted into the National Honor Society. After his military service, Shondee wanted to become an architectural engineer so he could build a house in the mountains for his parents.

Harry Shondee Sr. described his son as sincere, modest, selfless and brave.

Shondee's sister, Ophelia Shondee, 27, said she will remember her brother for the smile he always had. "He was my little brother," she said, "my happy little brother."


Died May 30, 2005, in an aircraft crash. The Clarkdale resident was 26.

Jeremy Fresques entered the Special Forces a short time after graduating from the Air Force Academy — but he tried to reassure his parents by telling them he had an office job.

"He didn't sign up for Special Forces because he wanted to push a pencil. He wanted to make a difference," said his uncle, Jerry Fresques.

Jeremy Fresques was killed in a crash of his surveillance plane about 80 miles northeast of Baghdad. He was based at Hurlburt Field. Fresques had been married for a little more than a year to Capt. Lindsay Shaw, who called him "the perfect husband." In their off-time, they volunteered for their church.

"Lindsey wants people to remember Jeremy as a strong Christian man, a good husband and someone that we can all be proud of," said her father, Chuck Shaw. Fresques had wanted to be in the military since he was a child, and was promoted to captain the morning of his death. Fresques graduated from high school in Framington, N.M., but his family later moved to Arizona and he lived with his wife in Florida. He was a star athlete and student — "an exceptional, dynamic person," his uncle said.


Died April 6, 2004, in a hostile attack. The Lukachukai native was 29.

Sgt. Lee D. Todacheene was a proud Navajo who harnessed his quiet strength into helping others as a medic in the Army.

"He was a quiet man, he was a strong man, a gentleman," said his brother, Rydell Todacheene. "He respected himself and everybody. He was generous and kind, and he loved his family above everything else."

Todacheene was killed when mortar fire hit his guard post in Iraq. He had been stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany, where he lived with his wife and sons. The nephew of Navajo Nation Vice President Frank Dayish Jr., Todacheene is believed to be the first Navajo killed in the Iraq war.

He is survived by his wife, Jacqueline, and his 8- and 9-year-old sons.

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