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God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

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A Catholic who follows Rome & the Magisterium. I'm against gay "marriage", abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning. Altar girls, Communion in the hand, Eucharistic Ministers and "Protestant" music in the Church doesn't bother me at all. A proud American retired submarine sailor. Our borders should be secured with a 10 ft. high fence topped by concertina wire with minefields out to 20 yards on both sides and an additional 10 yards filled with warning signs outside of that Let's get energy independent NOW! Back Israel to the max, stop appeasing followers of the Pedophile Prophet. Pro 2nd Amendment, pro death penalty, Repeal all hate crime legislation. Back the police unless you'd rather call a hippie when everything hits the fan. Get government out of dealing with education, childhood obesity and the enviornment. Stop using the military for sociological experiments and if we're in a war don't micromanage their every move. Kill your television, limit time on the computer and pick up a book. God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

Monday, November 16, 2009

R.I.P. Pfc. Lukas C. Hopper

Name: Army Pfc. Lukas C. Hopper

Age: 20

From: Merced, Calif.

Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Incident: Army Pfc. Lukas C. Hopper died Oct. 30, southeast of Karadah, Iraq, of injuries sustained during a vehicle rollover.

Died: October 30, 2009

(Taken from Pfc. Lukas Hopper, a 20-year-old Army paratrooper from Merced, died in a Humvee crash in Baghdad last week, the military said Monday.

A Golden Valley High School graduate, Hopper had been in Iraq for nearly a year. He was less than two weeks away from the end of his deployment when his vehicle flipped Friday in a noncombat-related crash southeast of Karadah, Iraq.

His body arrived Monday night at Dover Air Force Base, Del. His casket will be flown to Merced by the weekend.

Hopper was in the Humvee's gunner seat at the time of the crash. The cause of the rollover is under investigation, the military said.

In interviews Monday, Hopper's friends and relatives recalled him as an impetuous thrill-seeker and a protective big brother from an especially close-knit family. They said he joined the Army at age 18 in hopes of seeing the world and that he recently volunteered for a tour in Afghanistan.

He loved hiking, going to the beach and pulling pranks.

"He's always been an adventurer -- always the one who wanted to be right in the middle of the action," said his mother, Robin Hopper. "He knew he wanted to be infantry, and he knew he wanted to jump out of airplanes."

A Merced native and the oldest of three siblings, Hopper attended Fremont Charter School and Cruickshank Middle School. He graduated in 2007 from Golden Valley, where he swam and played water polo. He spent a semester at Merced College before joining the military two years ago.

After basic training, he went to Fort Bragg, N.C. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

Relatives said Hopper's unit took on a range of missions during his deployment, including guarding checkpoints and tracking insurgents. "He hated guard duty because he couldn't stand staying still," said his mother, who is the principal at Yamato Colony Elementary School in Livingston. "He wanted to be out in the streets on missions."

Hopper's best friend, Daniel Alcorn, described Hopper as a deeply caring friend who seized the day.

"He didn't really talk about the future all that often," he said. "He knew what was important, though. He took really good care of his friends and his family."

Alcorn said Hopper was especially protective of his two younger sisters, 17-year-old Chantal and 15-year-old Celeste.

"He took his role as a big brother very seriously," he said.

Added Hopper's father, Yancy Hopper: "It hasn't been the same since he left home. He was just a lot of fun to have around. He brought the party with him."

Soon after Hopper left for Iraq, his friends made a small cardboard cutout in Hopper's image and began taking it with them to social events. Alcorn then created a Web site,, where he's posted photos of Hopper's friends posing with the cutout -- which they nicknamed Flat Luke -- at the beach, at concerts and at restaurants.

"It's a quirky thing, but I think it shows how much Luke meant to his friends," said Ralf Swenson, Golden Valley's former principal. "They really looked out for each other."

Alcorn said Hopper checked the site as often as he could. "It was our way of keeping him with us when he was away," he said. "If Luke couldn't be there, at least Flat Luke was."

Relatives said they've tentatively planned funeral services Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Yosemite Avenue. They said Hopper will be buried in Catheys Valley and that his unit has planned two additional memorial services in Baghdad and Fort Bragg.

The city of Merced will fly flags at half-staff until Hopper is buried, city spokesman Mike Conway said.

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