Mater Dei lineman Tyler Holtz, 22, dead in Afghanistan.


[hit play for soundtrack]

The Register reports that Army Ranger Sgt. Tyler N. Holtz, 22, died Saturday from wounds suffered during heavy fire with insurgents.  At Mater Dei High School, Tyler played as an offensive and defensive lineman.  He’d planned on joining the military since he was a junior, and his coach Bruce Rollinson thought the world of him:

“He led by example,” Rollinson said. “No task was too tough. Anything we asked him to do, he just took off and did it…  It’s a cliché, but he’s the kind of guy we’re very lucky was defending our country”

This was the 22-year-old rifleman’s fourth deployment to Afghanistan.  The military site Shadow Spear tells us:

“Sgt. Tyler Holtz was a courageous and incredibly talented Ranger who died while leading his men against determined insurgents,” said Lt. Col. David Hodne, commander of 2nd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment.  “Tyler Holtz personified the Ranger Creed to the final moments of his life and his actions inspire us to do the same.  We will honor his memory and mourn his loss.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Holtz family.”

“Sgt. Holtz had the stuff from which legends are made and possessed the character which makes up the foundations that our Army and nation are built on,” said Col. Mark W. Odom, commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

Already decorated for his service, Tyler was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Purple Heart and Joint Service Achievement Medal.  Now he joins the roster of young Orange County men lost in combat in the Bush-Obama wars since 2003:

  • 9-24-2011, Afghanistan  Tyler Holtz, 22, of Dana Point
  • 3-4-2011, Afghanistan     Jordan Stanton, 20, of Rancho Santa Margarita
  • 3-3-2011, Afghanistan     Jason Weaver, 22, of Anaheim
  • 1-15-2011, Iraq                  Jose A Torre Jr., 21, of Garden Grove
  • 6-28-2007, Iraq                 Shin W. Kim, 23, of Fullerton
  • 6-23-2007, Iraq                 Shane Stinson, 23, of Fullerton
  • 4-12-2007, Iraq                 Daniel Santee, 21, of Mission Viejo
  • 1-28-2007, Iraq                 Cornell Chao, 36, of Orange
  • 1-15-2007, Iraq                 Mark Daily, 23, of Irvine
  • 9-29-2006, Iraq                 Michael Monsoor, 25, of Garden Grove
  • 4-25-2006, Iraq                 Raymond L. Henry, 21, of Anaheim
  • 4-12-2006, Iraq                 Marcus Glimpse, 22, of Huntington Beach
  • 2-14-2006, Iraq                 Michael Probst, 26, of Irvine
  • 1-27-2006, Iraq                 Hugo Lopez-Lopez, 20, of La Habra
  • 5-26-2005, Iraq                 Ricardo Crocker, 39, of Mission Viejo
  • 3-28-2005, Iraq                 Samuel S. Lee, 19, of Anaheim
  • 1-29-2005, Iraq                 Keith Edward Taylor, 47, of Irvine
  • 12-28-2005, Iraq               Pablito Pena Briones Jr., 22, of Anaheim
  • 11-9-2005, Iraq                 William C. James, 24, of Huntington Beach
  • 11-7-2005, Iraq                 Quoc Binh Tran, 26, of Mission Viejo
  • 10-13-2004, Iraq               Charles Soltes Jr, 36, of Irvine
  • 9-10-2004, Iraq                 Edgar P. Declan Jr, 24, of Cypress
  • 9-6-2004, Iraq                   Derek Gardner, 20, of San Juan Capistrano
  • 6-26-2004, Iraq                 Manuel Ceniceros, 23, of Santa Ana
  • 6-19-2004, Iraq                 Sean Horn, 19, of Irvine
  • 5-29-2004, Iraq                 Rafael Reynoso-Suarez, 28, of Santa Ana
  • 5-1-2004, Iraq                   Trevor Wine, 22, of Orange
  • 4-13-2004, Iraq                 Victor Rosales-Lomeli, 29, of Westminster
  • 4-8-2004, Iraq                   William Harrell, 30, of Placentia
  • 3-13-2004, Iraq                 Joel Brattain, 21, of Yorba Linda – Brea
  • 1-31-2004, Iraq                 Eliu Mier-Sandoval, 27, of San Clemente
  • 11-29-2003, Iraq               Stephen Bertolino, 40, of Orange
  • 3-23-2003, Iraq                 Jose Angel Garibay, 21, of Orange

Tyler's "pride and joy," his 2003 Silverado (photo Daily Kos)

Of course this list doesn’t include all the physically and mentally wounded from these wars, who are not counted as meticulously, but are roughly twentyfold.

It also doesn’t include the numerous suicides and reckless deaths of the troops who have already come home.

It doesn’t include all the contractors and civilians who have lost their lives assisting in these engagements.

Nor, I think, does it include accidents and illnesses suffered overseas – for example we remember how our South County Congressional candidate Bill Hedrick’s son nearly died of heat stroke a few years ago in Iraq.

The Orange Juice salutes the bravery and selflessness of Sergeant Holtz and these other young men, and we offer our sincere condolences to their families and friends.

[Now, can someone remind me why we’re STILL in Afghanistan and Iraq?  I seem to have forgotten… -ed]


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