- 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
Marine Lance Cpl. Aaron Boyles
Died September 24, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
24, of Alameda, Calif.; assigned to Headquarters and Service Company, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.; killed Sept. 24 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.
Alameda Marine among four troops killed in Iraq
ALAMEDA, Calif. — A 24-year-old Marine from the San Francisco Bay area who had been scheduled to return home in two weeks for the birth of his child was among four U.S. soldiers killed by enemy fire in Iraq on Sept. 24, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Lance Cpl. Aaron Boyles, of Alameda, was killed in Iraq’s Anbar province, which includes the restive city of Fallujah, the Pentagon announced Saturday. He was assigned to the 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif.
Boyles’ wife, Prabha, 25, said her husband called her Sept. 22 to say that his homecoming would be delayed by one final mission. As she held the telephone to her ripe stomach, he sent kisses to the baby boy he wanted to name Brendon.
“He wanted me to be a full-time mom,” Prabha Boyles told the San Jose Mercury News on Sept. 26 from the couple’s military home in Southern California. “I can’t believe this is happening.”
The young window said she knew what she was getting into as the wife of a Marine. Boyles had already enlisted when they met at a Wal-Mart in Union City where they both worked about two years ago.
They got married in Reno on July 4, 2003. Boyles, who was in boot camp, picked the patriotic date. He was deployed to Iraq on Feb. 6.
Prabha said she plans to move in with her family and focus on raising the child who will never know his father.
“He was going to teach him how to play football. He was going to spoil him. I want my son to know his dad was very brave, very strong, very kind. My husband already loved his son so much.”
Besides his wife, Boyles is survived by a 5-year-old son who lives in Oregon, and his mother, Wanda Kealaiki, of Newark, Calif., and two sisters who live in Sacramento.
Family mourns California Marine killed in Iraq
HAYWARD, Calif. — Sobs reverberated off the walls of a chapel packed with friends and family who gathered Wednesday to remember and bury Lance Cpl. Aaron Boyles, who was killed by an explosion in Iraq.
The Marine’s heavily pregnant widow, Prabha Boyles, had to be supported by family members as she slowly walked out of the chapel, following her husband’s flag-draped coffin. Mrs. Boyles, 25, is due to deliver the couple’s first and only child — a son she plans to name Brendon Aaron — on Oct. 17.
Boyles, 24, of Newark, was killed Sept. 24 in Iraq’s Anbar province, which includes the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah. Marine Capt. Ron Warfield, who was Boyles’ platoon sergeant for a time in Iraq, said Wednesday that Boyles was serving as gunner in the group’s Humvee when it was hit by an explosion. Two other Marines also died in the attack.
Boyles was scheduled to be home on leave for the birth of his son, but his plans were canceled two days before he died because he had a “special mission” to complete, his wife has said.
“When my brother told me he was going to Iraq, I was scared,” said older sister Anna Schneider, barely able to get the words out as she choked back sobs and dabbed at her eyes with a tissue. He was deployed Feb. 6 and told his sister not to cry because “his wife was crying, his mother was crying” and he needed her to be strong.
“I pictured him in a tent reading a book,” Schneider said. “And we all know Aaron doesn’t read.”
The comment drew laughter from the nearly 200 people attending the service at the Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward — one of its few moments of levity.
His other older sister, Angel Boyles, spoke of how her tobacco-chewing brother finally found his calling in the Marines. She said she attended his basic training graduation and had never been more proud of him.
Warfield, the former platoon sergeant, remembered Boyles as “tough and fearless.”
“Boyles had my back,” Warfield said, wearing his military dress uniform and standing near the casket, where a formal portrait of the dead Marine was displayed. “He left our world much too soon.”
Family members showed a video montage of photos — Boyles’ childhood, his wedding in Reno on July 4, 2003 and his time in the service. The video played in the chapel’s foyer to a crowd who couldn’t fit into the chapel.
Boyles met his wife about two years ago at a Wal-Mart in Union City where they both worked. He had already enlisted in the Marine Corps. A large floral arrangement from the store was near the front of the chapel.
In addition to his wife, Boyles is survived by a 5-year-old son in Oregon from a previous relationship; his mother, Wanda Kealaiki, of Newark, Calif.; and two sisters.
— Associated Press