A U.S. helicopter crashed in Iraq, killing all 12 people on board, and five Marines died in a spate of attacks in the west of the country on one of the worst weekends for the U.S. military since the 2003 invasion.The pain of the loss of a GI weighs heavy on his or her parents. Why do I get this sickening feeling that our President does not care as much, if at all?
Ever since a military chaplain visited their Stockton home last week, the Mariano family has been grieving the loss of their son Robbie, an American soldier killed in Iraq.
Family members are coping in their own ways. Mom is seeking solace with friends and family. Dad is talking to the media, and younger brother Bobby is blogging about his shock.
It's hard for them to believe the jovial 21-year-old skateboarder with a penchant for practical jokes has left the family so soon.
"I see him with his guitar, wearing a Green Day shirt and singing the band's songs for us -- we all thought it was funny," said Robbie's father, Bob Mariano, a 29-year veteran of the Stockton Police Department's patrol unit.
"This news has caught the family off guard," he said.
Private First Class Robbie Mariano was killed Thursday outside the southern Iraqi Shiite holy city of Najaf when the Humvee he was riding in was hit by a roadside bomb. A major, captain and two sergeants inside the Humvee were also killed. Mariano was the gunner.