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Army Spc. Ronnie J. Pallares

Died October 23, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

19, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; assigned to 27th Engineer Battalion, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Oct. 23 in Andar district, Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.

Funerals in southern Calif. for fallen Marine, soldier

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Funerals have been held for a Los Angeles police officer and a Riverside County soldier who were killed by roadside bombs while serving in Afghanistan.

Mourners attended a service Nov. 3 for Marine Staff Sgt. Joshua Cullins, 28, at the Roman Catholic cathedral in downtown Los Angeles. The LAPD officer died in October in Helmand province. He was the second Los Angeles officer killed this year while serving in the military.

Services were also held that day for Army Spc. Ronnie Pallares, 19, of Rancho Cucamonga. He was killed in October in Ghazni province.

Fallen Bragg soldier knew he wanted to join Army

The Associated Press

Spc. Ronnie Pallares liked writing, music and following his favorite teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Lakers.

When he was growing up in Rancho Cucamonga, his family saw him going into journalism or becoming a police officer. They didn’t know he had any interest in joining the military, his mother told the Los Angeles Times.

So, it came as a surprise in 2008 when a 17-year-old Pallares asked his mother for permission to enlist in the Army.

“I looked him straight in the eye and asked him, ‘You are telling me that you are willing to die for this country?’ He stood up and said, ‘Yes, Mom. Either you sign this or I will sign up when I am 18.’ I decided to support him,” Brenda Pallares told the Times.

Ronnie J. Pallares, 19, of Rancho Cucamonga, was killed in an explosion on Oct. 23 in Ghazni, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Fort Bragg.

His mother said he was weeks away from leaving Afghanistan, and they both were eager for his return home.

Pallares had a positive attitude, said his Little League coaches Dawn and Ronald Smith, and on a recent trip home, he had talked about also coaching one day.

“Things could be looking bad, and he would say, ‘Let’s turn it around!’“ Dawn Smith said. “He was always trying to help the other guys on the team.”

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