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Lance Cpl. Tony L. Hernandez View/Sign Guest Book
Lance Cpl. Tony L. Hernandez

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Age:   22
Hometown: Canyon Lake, TX
Date of Death: 1/26/2005
Incident Location: Near Rutbah, Iraq
Branch of Military:   Marines
Rank: Lance Cpl.
Unit: Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
Unit's Base: Miramar, Calif.

Tony Hernandez tried to join the Marines after high school, but was rejected because he was too heavy. He shed 25 pounds by running and dieting and tried again. By the time he finished boot camp, Hernandez had lost another 20 pounds: "We went to his graduation and we almost didn't recognize him," said Leroy Hernandez, his father. Hernandez, 22, of Canyon Lake, Texas, was killed in the Jan. 26 helicopter crash that left 31 dead. Hernandez was the crew chief on the aircraft, which went down during a desert sandstorm while transporting troops as part of security operations. Leroy Hernandez had spoken to his son by telephone not long before he died. "He said it was cold, that he didn't like the weather, that he was working his butt off _ the usual gripes," he said. "He didn't say a lot because he didn't want anyone to worry."
Source: Associated Press
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