TX/OK Soldiers Casualties of War

9-8-04 - UNDATED (AP) The Pentagon is confirming that a Texas National Guard soldier from South Texas was killed in action in Iraq.

The Defense Department says 19 year old Army Specialist Tomas Garces of Weslaco was killed Monday. The Army says his convoy was attacked by enemy insurgents using explosive booby traps in

The Army says the incident is under investigation. Garces was assigned to the Guard's Fort Bliss-based 1836th Transportation Company.

Family members also say 20 year old Army Private Ryan Michael McCauley of Lewisville was killed Sunday in an ambush in Iraq. That's believed to bring the Iraq combat death toll of Texas soldiers to at least 79. The Associated Press reports US military deaths in the Iraq campaign passed 1,000 Tuesday.

Friends of the Army Private tell The Dallas Morning News that before he moved out, he confided that he was scared that -- in one friend's words "something bad was going to happen."

McCauley's family says Army officials told them that McCauley was on foot patrol Sunday when he was ambushed in the Sadr City area of Baghdad.

As for Oklahoma, The US Department of Defense says a US Marine from Lawton is one of the seven killed Monday in Iraq.

Officials say 20 year old Lance Corporal Lamont Wilson and six other Marines died due to enemy action in Al Anbar Province in Iraq. The action has been described as a suicide car bombing.

A second Oklahoman is also reported dead in Iraq. Tulsa Union High School graduate and Air Force Captain John J. Boria died Sunday. The circumstances of his death were not immediately clear.