View Full Version : Battalion pauses to honor fallen Marine

03-29-04, 08:32 AM
Battalion pauses to honor fallen Marine
Submitted by: Headquarters Marine Corps
Story Identification Number: 2004326142318
Story by Cpl. Paula M. Fitzgerald

CAMP HURRICANE POINT, Iraq(March 24, 2004) -- Lance Cpl. Andrew S. Dang, a combat engineer from 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, was just doing his job when he was killed in the early morning hours of March 22.

Dang, who recently celebrated his nineteenth birthday, and his unit were conducting raids in the Iraqi town of Ar Ramadi when hostile forces ambushed the group.

A memorial service was held in front of the command operations center here March 24, to honor Dang's memory. During the ceremony, a 21-gun salute was rendered and Marines paid their last respects to the fallen warrior.

Lance Cpl. Alejandro G. Jasso, a fellow combat engineer and Dang's best friend, said, "Dang was a good Marine and a good brother. He was proud of being a Marine and did his job very well."

Jasso, who met the San Franciscan during combat engineering school, described Dang as a friendly, easy-going person who found the humor in almost every situation.

"Even when things got really bad, he kept a smile on his face," Jasso explained. "It didn't matter to him if he hated what was going on."

Dang was a combat engineer whose responsibilities included building fences, running concertina wire to fortify the camps here, as well as working with explosives. He was also a member of one of the battalion's quick reaction forces, units that are sent out to destroy enemy forces after an attack.

"He never once complained about his duties," said Dang's platoon sergeant, Gunnery Sgt. Anthony P. Inman. "In fact, one of the last letters he wrote before he died said that he was afraid of leaving the quick reaction force and being put in a job where he would stay within the security of the camp. He wanted to be in the fight."

During the ceremony, Brig. Gen. John F. Kelly, the assistant division commander, also made a few remarks on Dang's behalf.

"I never knew Andy Dang, but I've known thousands of men just like him," Kelly said. "When a few evil men decided to fly airplanes into buildings and kill thousands of innocent people, a few men and women chose to stand up and fight. (Dang) was one of those men who devoted his life to something greater than himself: America."

Dang joined the Marine Corps in 2003 and attended boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. On his off time, Jasso explained Dang enjoyed listening to rock music and playing video games. He also rode sport bikes, wrestled and loved pyrotechnics.
Dang's ambitions for the future included becoming a Marine Corps officer in the aerospace technology field.

"He told me that he planned to stick around the Marine Corps for a long time," Jasso added. "He also wanted to open up his own business one day."

But those dreams came to an end after being in Iraq for almost a month.

"When I think about what happened to Dang, it hurts," Jasso said. "It's not the end though; he's just gone home. As the many service members that came before Dang have done, he's reporting to Saint Peter in heaven. I can hear him saying, 'Saint Peter, sir, Lance Cpl. Andrew S. Dang reporting for duty.'"

Dang is survived by his parents and two younger brothers.


Lance Cpl. Joel Andrade, combat engineer with 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, pays his last respects to Lance Cpl. Andrew S. Dang, a fellow combat engineer. Dang, of San Francisco, was killed during a raid in the town of Ar Ramadi March 22. A memorial ceremony was held here March 24 to honor to Dang's memory. Marines from the 1st Marine Division are conducting security and stabilization operations for Operation Iraqi Freedom II. (USMC photo by Cpl. Paula M. Fitzgerald) Photo by: Cpl. Paula M. Fitzgerald