Based: Ft. Carson, Colo.
Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Troop, Regimental Support Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: November 29, 2003
Married, 4 children
High School: Granite Hills High (El Cajon)
Burial: Oak Hill Memorial Park, Escondido, Calif.
Bertolino, 40, was killed in an ambush Nov. 29 when gunmen opened fire on a convoy of American military vehicles in Haditha, Iraq…Read the whole LA Times article about Army Staff Sergeant Stephen A. Bertolino here and find memories here and more here in his Guest Book.
He met his wife, Susan Roberts of Escondido, while their families were both camping in Julian. Bertolino, whose family is Catholic, converted to Susan's religion so the couple could be married in 1987 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Bertolino joined the Marine Corps briefly and then switched to the Army. He was an Army recruiter based in Santee for the last three years until he was transferred in March to Ft. Carson.
The 6-foot-6 man, who taught children's classes at church, frequently showed his soft heart to strangers and relatives, his family said.
"He was late for a lot things he should have been on time for because he had stopped to help somebody," said his brother Joe.
"As a father, he loved his kids. He is a big kid himself. He was always playing with the kids, his nieces and nephews."