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One of the first two U.S. casualties in Iraq was Jose Gutierrez, an immigrant from Guatemala who lived in California. The 22-year-old Marine lance corporal was killed in ground combat Friday.
An orphan who grew up on the streets while Guatemala was enmeshed in civil war, he found a new family when at age 14 he traveled to the United States by train, foot and bus. He enlisted partly to thank the United States for his new life, said his foster brother, Max Mosquera.
“He joined the Marines to pay back a little of what he’d gotten from the U.S.,” Mosquera said. “For him it was a question of honor.”
The United States suffered its first combat casualty Thursday when a Marine from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force was shot in the stomach as his company advanced on a burning oil pump station in the Rumeila oil field outside Basra.

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