One of the Marines was a 19-year-old kid who could barely wait to graduate from Esperanza High School to join the military and eventually become a cop – just like his father.
The other was a seven-year active-duty veteran and high-ranking SWAT officer for the Los Angeles Police Department who was married to a naval officer and had a 9-month-old daughter.
The two Yorba Linda residents were killed early Wednesday by a roadside bomb while on patrol in Afghanistan, relatives and authorities said.
Marine Lance Cpl. Rick J. Centanni, who entered the military just weeks out of high school in 2008, was in a vehicle that was destroyed by an improvised explosive device, said his father, Jon Centanni, a sergeant in charge of investigations for the Santa Ana Police Department's gang unit.
"He wanted to serve his country," Centanni said. "I supported it, and I still do."
Sgt. Major Robert J. Cottle, 45, also was killed, said his father, Kenneth A. Cottle, 74, of Villa Park.
"He was a warrior – that's what he liked to do," Cottle said. "Anything physical."
Friends and family were planning a homecoming party for Cottle when he was due home at the end of May. He reportedly is the first active LAPD officer to be killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Stop briefly and say a prayer for their souls, even if it is only God bless and keep them.