“The Department of Defense announced today the death of 16 Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Day by day, we continue to move towards the 2,000 mark.


Capt. Paul C. Alaniz, 32, of Corpus Christi, Texas


Lance Cpl. Jonathan E. Etterling, 22, of Wheelersburg, Ohio


Capt. Lyle L. Gordon, 30, of Midlothian, Texas


Lance Cpl. Brian C. Hopper, 21, of Wynne, Ark.


Lance Cpl. Saeed Jafarkhani-Torshizi Jr., 24, of Fort Worth, Texas


Cpl. Sean P. Kelly, 23, of Gloucester, N.J.


Staff Sgt. Dexter S. Kimble, 30, of Houston, Texas


Lance Cpl. Allan Klein, 34, of Clinton Township, Mich.


Cpl. James L. Moore, 24, of Roseburg, Ore.


Lance Cpl. Mourad Ragimov, 20, of San Diego, Calif.


Lance Cpl. Rhonald D. Rairdan, 20, of San Antonio, Texas


Lance Cpl. Hector Ramos, 20, of Aurora, Ill.


Lance Cpl. Darrell J. Schumann, 25, of Hampton, Va.


1stLt. Dustin M. Shumney, 30, of Vallejo, Calif


Cpl. Matthew R. Smith, 24, of West Valley, Utah


Lance Cpl. Joseph B. Spence, 24, of Scotts Valley, Calif


All died Jan. 26 when the CH-53E helicopter they were in crashed near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. Alaniz, Gordon, and Kimble were assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. The others were assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii.


The cause of the crash is under investigation.