An only child growing up in rural southern Illinois, Michael Bartley seemed like a perfect fit for the Army.
"He enlisted in the Army, and I thought, how appropriate," David Savage, Bartley's elementary school principal and the superintendent of Fairfield Schools, told WSIL-TV. "Their motto is to be all you can be. Michael lived that."
A basketball player, Bartley graduated from Fairfield Community High School in 2007. His coach told the TV station he remembers his former player for his optimism and strong work ethic.
The 23-year-old from Barnhill, Ill., and another soldier were killed Jan. 15 in Mosul, Iraq, when an Iraqi soldier opened fire on them during a training exercise.
Rebecca Isles, Bartley's mother, told the Evansville Courier-Press that her son joined the Army shortly after high school and later re-enlisted. He was on his second tour of duty in Iraq.
Bartley also was a member of Orchardville Community Church and returned to his hometown to visit friends and family.
"He was in his uniform and he looked so sharp," Savage told the TV station. "We were so proud of him. And I told him, I said, you know Michael, this is a great accomplishment. And he said, 'You know Mr. Savage. I'm really excited about this.'"
In addition to his mother, Bartley is survived by his father and grandmothers. He was assigned to Fort Hood.
Army Maj. Michael S. Evarts
Mike Evarts ran marathons, skied on both snow and water, and loved music. His close friends say he always was full of energy, goodwill and humor.
"He had a big heart and infectious laugh," longtime friend Todd Ulrich told The News-Herald in northeast Ohio. "I've never laughed as much as I've laughed with him where I had tears streaming down my face. It was quite a special thing that he had a gift for that."
Evarts, a 41-year-old Cleveland resident, was a salesman for a pharmaceutical company. He also spent nearly two decades in the U.S. Army Reserves, where he was an executive officer at the 256th Combat Support Hospital in Twinsburg.
During his second overseas deployment, Evarts died Jan. 17 in Tikrit, Iraq. The Defense Department says his death was not combat-related.
He was a graduate of St. Lawrence University, where he majored in science and completed the ROTC program while competing on the school's football and wrestling teams.
Evarts leaves behind his wife, Monique, and two sons, 7-year-old Zachary and 4-year-old Luke.
Army Spc. Martin J. LaMar
Martin LaMar's family says he had wanted to serve in the military since he was a young boy. He ended up enlisting twice.
Soon after graduating high school in 1986, he joined the Marines and served for four years. Following a decade of working as an electrician and with an armored truck company, he joined the Army in 2007 despite relatives' efforts to talk him out of the decision.
His brother-in-law Gilbert Alvarado told the Sacramento (Calif.) Bee that LaMar "wanted to go back."
"He wanted to fight for his country," Alvarado said. LaMar, 43, and another soldier died Jan. 15 after an Iraqi soldier they were training opened fire in Mosul. LaMar had been assigned to Fort Hood.
He was from Sacramento, and graduated from Oakmont High School in Roseville, Calif.
A "great guy with a big heart" who loved his family, according to his brother-in-law, LaMar died on his wedding anniversary. His next leave was set to start Jan. 30, and he would have seen his three-month-old daughter for the first time then.
In addition to his wife, Josephine Alvarado LaMar, of Sacramento, and their infant daughter, LaMar's survivors include three older daughters and a 7-year-old son.
Army Staff Sgt. Jose M. Cintron Rosado
Jose Cintron Rosado loved the military and was a hero to his family, his wife said.
He was such a hero that his son Carlos, 14, insisted that he have a chance to stand guard over his father's coffin for a shift. The teen is a member of the Junior ROTC in Puerto Rico.
"This is the greatest thing for him," Maria Robles Cintron said. "He always said, 'Mommy, I want to be there beside him to see how proud I am.'"
Cintron Rosado, 38, of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, was killed by a roadside bomb Jan. 2 in Taji, Iraq. He was a member of the Puerto Rico Army National Guard based in Aguadilla. Another soldier, Jose A. Delgado Arroyo, also was killed in the bombing.
Robles Cintron said her husband loved being in the military. "He died a hero. For me and my children," she said. He leaves behind another son, Kevin.
Maj. Paul Dahlen of the Puerto Rico National Guard said the two men were tasked with clearing bombs from roadways. They had deployed to Iraq together in April. He said their deaths had been especially tough on their comrades.
"We're a pretty close group," Dahlen said. "We consider ourselves a family."
Army Spc. Jose A. Torre, Jr.
Jose Torre's high school Spanish teacher remembers a student who not too long ago struggled, "like most teens."
But then he started to turn his life around, and he became focused as he matured during his junior and senior years, said Alicia Duncan, of Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, Calif.
His guidance counselor, whom he had visited at his former high school on recent trips home, said that after he graduated, she could see Torre had found a sense of fulfillment in serving his country.
"He came in a couple of times in his fatigues," Amy Bowman told the Orange County Register. "He was very proud of serving. He told me he was very happy doing what he was doing. I got the sense that he belonged and was part of something bigger."
Jose Torre Jr., 21, of Garden Grove, Calif., was killed in Baghdad in an attack on his unit. He was assigned to Fort Riley.
"He was a man at 15," Duncan said shortly after his death. "Why does it always have to be the kid who is pulling his life back together?"
Torre graduated in 2007 from Pacifica, where he was on the varsity wrestling team.
Teachers described him as friendly and outgoing.