CAMP PENDLETON — The last time he spoke to his wife from Iraq, Maj. Ray Mendoza urged her to visit the injured Marines from his company at the base hospital and be sure to call their wives.
"He prayed every night to bring his boys home safe," Karen Mendoza said. "And that's what happened. I thank God for that."
Four days later, on Nov. 14, 2005, her husband was killed as he prepared to lead his men into battle along the Syrian border. He was the only fatality among the Marines of Echo Company.