The forgotten war, Afghanistan, is now the remembered war, and Iraq vice-versa. But U.S. troops - including five with Washington state connections - continue to die on both battlegrounds where the enemy is usually a bomb buried in the sand. The five were just added to SW's War Dead pages, including the 4,366th U.S. service member to die in Iraq, Army Pfc. Derrick D. Gwaltney, 21, a Fort Lewis soldier from Cape Coral, Fla. He brings the death toll of those with ties to Washington to 283; 65 more with local ties have died in Afghanistan.
Gwaltney, a war within?
Gwaltney's war may have, in the end, been with himself. He talked to his family shortly before his death. "We put him on speaker phone so everyone could yell, 'Derrick, we love you! Happy Thanksgiving!'" said his mother, Patricia Gwaltney. "He kind of chuckled and laughed and said, 'Thanks everybody.' He said, 'I'll talk to you later, mom.' That was it." A few days later, his family was told the married father of one child was found alone with a single gunshot wound to his head. The Army says it is still investigating.