Lance Cpl. Alfonso Ochoa Jr

Lance Cpl. Alfonso Ochoa Jr., 20, of Armona, Calif., died Oct. 10 while supporting combat operations in Farah province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay.

Family and friends mourn the loss of a Valley Marine killed overseas. 20-year-old Lance Corporal Alfonso Ochoa, Jr. was killed in action in Afghanistan over the weekend. Ochoa was killed Saturday while supporting combat operations in Farah Province in the southwest portion of Afghanistan. During his senior year, Ochoa transferred from Hanford West to Hanford Adult School, so that he could graduate early and enter the U.S. Marine Corps in January 2008. Current Hanford West Principal Bobby Peters says Ochoa started developing an interest in joining the military during his junior year. He says the military was a vehicle to better his life, continue his education and serve his country. Peters describes Ochoa as a good student who worked hard everyday and rarely used excuses. Peters said, “His is one of those stories that I tell other kids, when they maybe facing some adversity in your life, here's what you do." Peters says he was very disappointed and upset to hear about Ochoa's death. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued this statement on Tuesday: “Lance Corporal Alfonso Ochoa was a brave young man whose commitment to serving his country will always be remembered… We send our condolences to all of Alfonso’s loved ones who are mourning this terrible loss.” Flags will be lowered to half staff at the State Capitol in Sacramento in honor of Lance Corporal Alfonso Ochoa, Jr.

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Marine Saluting Courtesy Sgt Michal S. Williams

He lives alone In the hills and the trees
He bares his soul To the cool mountain breeze
He talks to the Spirit He listens to the Wind
They shield him from memories Buried deep within
The world has forgotten The sacrifice he made
The scars he bears remind him Of the high price he paid
Freedom is not given But with blood it has been bought
By warriors such as he And by the wars they fought
We can't forget our warriors Or let them die in vain
But with respect and honor We can help to ease their pain
Our Freedom will be taken If no one will defend
God bless our Forgotten Warriors Who live to fight again.

God and the soldier all men adore
in times of trouble, but no more.
For when war is ended and all things righted,
God is neglected, the old soldier slighted.