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Baldwin Park Remembers 3 of its Own on Veterans Day

Gabriel J. Figueroa, Atanacio Haro Marin Jr., and Rudy Salas all died in one of the two wars fought this decade.

Baldwin Park is one of many California cities that lost men and women to the wars with Iraq and Afghanistan; they will be remembered this Veterans Day.

Gabriel J. Figueroa, Atanacio Haro Marin Jr., and Rudy Salas all died in one of the two wars fought this decade.

Figueroa, an Army Private 1st Class, was killed in Baghdad on April 3, 2007; he attended Sierra Vista High School in Baldwin Park.

Marin, an Army sergeant who attended Sierra Vista High School, died in Iraq on June 3, 2003.

Salas, a Marine corporal, was killed in Anbar Province, Iraq, on May 3, 2004, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The three men are but a few of the 726 California servicemembers and 486 others based in California, according to the Los Angeles Times.The Times article has a comprehensive database of all those killed, organized alphabetically, by hometowns, by cemeteries and by high schools.

It also includes quotes and comments from friends and family.

"His parents said they were told by military officials that their son had been handing out candy and toys to Iraqi children when he was shot by a sniper in Baghdad," the Times wrote of Figueroa.

"Atanacio Marin...typifies the soldiers that come from California. So many of them are from Los Angeles and surrounding areas, so many have stories like 'Nacho' has: one in which he was born in Mexico; one in which his family came here for a better life...," wrote Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-Vista).

In 2007, officials renamed the Baldwin Park Post Office in Marin's honor, according to the Times.

Salas mother bemoaned the fate of other mothers who must endure.

"If I could I would tell the president that I would give him my life, even though my son is gone, so they bring the other boys home so another mother doesn't have to go through this," Elida Salas told the Times.

 

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