View Full Version : Prosser Marine mourned

06-23-04, 09:11 AM
Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Prosser Marine mourned

By Michael Ko
Seattle Times staff reporter

Marvin Best enlisted in the Marines in 1989, right after he graduated from Prosser High School in Benton County. It was always a joyous occasion when he came back home.
His family would fire up the barbecue and, eventually, Best and several of his closest friends would wind up at the Rattlesnake Mountain Brewing Co. in Richland, where Best would tell stories about traveling overseas and military life.

Staff Sgt. Best, a 33-year-old machine gunner and sniper based in Twentynine Palms, Calif., died Sunday during combat in the Al Anbar province of Iraq. The U.S. Department of Defense would say only that he was killed during "a hostile action."

Born in Wenatchee, Best was serving with the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. He was deployed to Iraq in February.

Friends and family yesterday said Best was a tremendous athlete, who competed in more than a dozen marathons, and a thoughtful friend, who presented people at home with bottled black sand and volcanic ash from the beaches of Iwo Jima after a recent deployment to Japan.

"He always had good stories to tell us," said his cousin T.J. Mains, of Prosser. "He was not one of those guys who told stories to impress people. He wanted to take it easy, do his own thing, just relax with everybody."

Best couldn't stand being indoors, Mains said. At home, Best enjoyed hunting and fishing. With the Marines, he traveled to Japan and Korea and served aboard several ships.

Best's father in-law, Roger Bates, said a high-school teacher who previously was a Marine had instilled in Best a sense of honor, duty and love for his country

From an early age, Best wanted to make the military a career, Bates said. He would have been eligible to retire in five years.

Between 1998 and 2000, Best was a recruiter for the Marines in the Tri-Cities area. There, he met and married his wife, Shelly, a dance and ballet instructor. They recently purchased a home in Prosser.

Best was excited when he heard he was going to the Middle East.

"He went into the Marines to fight for our freedom; that's what he trained for," Mains said. "He wanted to use that training. That's the biggest reason he wanted to go. He always wanted to be in the middle of things. He always wanted to be right there."

In addition to his wife, Best is survived by his parents, Bill and Charlotte, and his sister, Lorna Nunez, all of Prosser.

Michael Ko: 206-515-5653 or mko@seattletimes.com


U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Marvin Best died in Iraq.



Rest In Peace

06-23-04, 09:37 AM
Rest In Peace Ssgt. Best.