Two South Gate residents who were remembered this Veterans Day lost their lives in Iraq; they died four months apart and both attended South Gate Senior High School.
Army Spec. Luis G. Ayala, 21, and Navy Corpsman Geovani Padilla Aleman, 20, both died in Iraq, according to a listing of fallen servicemembers in California posted by the Los Angeles Times.
According to the article, the men are two of the 726 California servicemembers and 486 others based in California who lost their lives while serving in two wars fought by this country this decade.
The database has links to all those killed, with information about each person.
One can search by a number of categories, including high school, hometown, age, base, branch, cemetery, country of birth or theater of operation.
Ayala, who was with the 8th Cavalry, was married and had a child; he died Dec. 28, 2006, in Taji, Iraq.
According to the L.A. Times, “Ayala wrote to an immigration judge to say it was unfair that he should be fighting for the United States while the government denied his mother, a Mexican immigrant, legal residency. The judge agreed."
Padilla Aleman died April 2, 2006, near Ramadi, in Iraq.
He was born in Mexico.
“He didn't go there to fight, he went there to heal. He was just very intelligent, he was my role model,” his cousin, Salvador Padilla, wrote to the Times.
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