Family of fallen service members react to resurgence of violence in Iraq

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- President Barack Obama will meet with congressional leaders at the White House Wednesday to discuss the turmoil in Iraq.

It's a situation that hits all too close to home for families whose loved ones died fighting there. And for each family, there's a different opinion on how our country should handle the crisis.

At the Fallen Warriors Memorial in Northwest Harris Count, there are dozens of names etched in stone; local servicemen and women who have given their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Among them is Army First Lieutenant Jeremy Ray.

"He was where he was," said Jeremy's father, Randall Ray. "He knew what he was doing, knew the consequences, but took it anyway."

Ray grew up in Jersey Village, attended Cy-Fair schools, graduated from Texas A&M and then wanted to serve his country. He was in Iraq just a month when he was killed by a suicide bomber.

He was 26. Many memories are stored at the memorial.

"It's hard to go and look at it, to go in and look at things that aren't there," said Ray.

But the ever-increasing violence in Iraq is forcing Jeremy's father to go back to the day his worst news came -- December 20, 2007 - and also forces him to voice what may be an unpopular opinion.

"We've got to go back," said Ray. "No other choice. I don't want my son's life to be thrown away for nothing."

Another name. another opinion.

"I don't think we should have any troops," said Kelly Hunt, mother of Marine Lance Corporal Robert Martinez of Cleveland. "We trained them, Who takes care of us?"

Marine Lance Corporal Martinez died in December of 2005, killed by a roadside bomb. His mother is drawn to the daily developments in Iraq, but everything about the them is brutal.

"Everything is very sad," said Hunt.
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