- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Octave Shield
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Spc. Justin W. Pollard
Died December 30, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
21, of Foothill Ranch, Calif.; assigned to 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, based in Fort Carson, Colo.; died as a result of injuries sustained in a non-combat related incident, on Dec. 30 in Baghdad.
Family mourns soldier’s death
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Family and friends remembered slain Army Specialist Justin Pollard as a happy-go-lucky guy who would do anything to make his friends laugh.
Pollard, 21, of Foothill Ranch, was killed Dec. 30 in Iraq. He was buried Jan. 10; more than 500 people attended.
Friends remembered Pollard as a fun-loving teen who ditched football practice to go body boarding on the day his coach considered making him captain. Once he even bungee-jumped in the nude.
But Pollard took the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, seriously.
“He did not mourn with no resolve. He became angry and decided that he would not just talk, but act,” family friend Terry Collins said in his eulogy.
Because of his death, Veterans Day will forever be different for everyone who knew Pollard, said Saddleback Church Pastor Bob Baker.
“The concept of liberty takes on a new meaning because we now understand the price,” he said.
Moments later, military pallbearers lifted Pollard’s flag-draped casket and marched slowly from the church.
“I already miss him so much,” said Bill Pollard, Justin’s father. “I miss him right now. But I also know he’s going to be 21, be an American soldier, and be a hero the rest of my life. In some way, that gives me comfort.”