- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Pfc. Karina S. Lau
Died November 2, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
20, of Livingston, Calif.; assigned to the 16th Signal Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas; killed Nov. 2 in an attack on a CH-47 Chinook helicopter near Fallujah, Iraq.
Pfc. Karina Lau sang and played clarinet and saxophone, and won awards for music and math. She dreamed of returning to school after her military service and someday setting up her own music shop. "I prayed for her every day telling her to be careful," said her mother, Ruth Lau, of Livingston, Calif. "She said she was safe. We never expected that anything would happen to her." Lau, 20, was one of 16 soldiers killed in the Nov. 2 downing of a helicopter carrying troops home on leave. Lau attended the University of Pacific on a music scholarship before joining the Army in January 2002. She received training as a radio operator at Fort Hood during boot camp before she was deployed to Iraq at the beginning of the war. Just a few hours before boarding the helicopter, Lau sent an e-mail to her half-sister, Martha Rivera. "Don't worry," it read. "I'll be careful."
— Associated Press