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In this 2004 file photo, hundreds of people with flags greet the funeral procession for Marine Cpl. Andrew Brownfield as they head to Holy Cross Cemetery on South Main Street in Akron. (Akron Beacon Journal file photo)
In this 2004 file photo, a helmet, rifle and boots make up a memorial for Staff Sgt. Richard P. Ramey of Perry Twp. at the Main Post Chapel on the Fort Knox, Ky. Military Base. Ramey, a member of the 703rd Explosive Ordanance Disposal Detachment was killed in Iraq. (Akron Beacon Journal file photo)
In this 2004 file photo, a service star banner hangs in the window beneath a flag flying at half mast at the home of Sgt. Michael Barkey in Canal Fulton. Barkey, who was serving in Iraq with the Akron, Ohio-based 148th Transportation Company, died from injuries when his motor vehicle flipped over. (Akron Beacon Journal file photo)
They traveled from across the continent. Each one was primped and pampered to look its best, and by Saturday, they were ready to claw their way up the ranks in the cattiest competition Akron has held in over 15 years.