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thedrifter
01-05-06, 08:18 AM
Sister of Marine killed in Iraq enlists in reserves
Journal-News

EVENDALE, Ohio — The sister of one of 14 Marines killed in a roadside bombing in Iraq in August has enlisted in the Marine Reserves, saying she wants to serve her country as her brother did.

"He realized we have so many freedoms. We have a debt to society," said Sarah Dyer, 17.

Her brother, Lance Cpl. Christopher Dyer, 19, was one of nine Marines from Columbus-based Lima Company killed in the bombing on Aug. 3 near Haditha, Iraq.

Sarah Dyer will graduate next week, leaving high school a semester early. To enlist at 17, the suburban Cincinnati teenager needed her parents' consent.

"Obviously in my situation, it's a concern for me," said her father, John Dyer. But he said he decided to support her decision despite his son's death.

Sarah Dyer will head to basic training at Parris Island, S.C., on Jan. 22, but her time as a reservist could end early if she receives an appointment to West Point.

U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, a Cincinnati Republican, nominated her. He said he was impressed she wanted to enter the military despite her brother's death.

"It shows what an extraordinary person she is," Chabot said.

Dyer also is waiting to hear about a Navy ROTC scholarship that would allow her to attend one of several colleges. Her contract with the Marines allows her to forgo the reserves if she receives either.

Dyer said she plans to complete basic training no matter what.

"I feel like I have a debt because I've been able to grow up and go to church and go to school and live in an amazing place," she said. "I just want to protect that and help other people get that."

Dyer said she's not scared of being deployed.

"I know that's just because I'm naive," she said. "I think I'm at that point where I think I'm invincible. ... If the United States needs us and calls us up, we'll be there."

Ellie

thedrifter
01-05-06, 09:35 AM
Slain Marine's sister follows him into Corps
'He realized we have so many freedoms,' Sarah Dyer says
By Christy Arnold
Enquirer staff writer

EVENDALE - Sarah Dyer and her brother Christopher were small soldiers, wearing camouflage and fighting enemies on an imaginary battlefield where roadside bombs don't kill - at least, not in their Evendale back yard.

"I wanted to emulate my brother in every way," Sarah said.

Her brother joined the Marine Corps Reserves and planned to enroll in the honors program at Ohio State University this month.

But Lance Cpl. Christopher J. Dyer, 19, died along with four other Southwest Ohio Marines when a roadside bomb exploded Aug. 3 near Haditha, Iraq.

Sarah, 17, has enlisted in the Marine Reserves despite her brother's death.

"My brother did influence my decision in that he wanted to serve his country," Sarah said. "He realized we have so many freedoms. We have a debt to society. The Marine Corps is the best way."

Sarah graduates from Princeton High School on Jan. 13 - a semester early.

"She's a great kid," said Marsha Miller, the 12th-grade principal at Princeton. "She was very focused even before she lost Chris. ... She really knows what she wants. She's just got a lot of internal drive."

Sarah heads to basic training as a Marine reservist, like her brother, at Parris Island, S.C., on Jan. 22.

"I feel like I have a debt because I've been able to grow up and go to church and go to school and live in an amazing place," Sarah said. "I just want to protect that and help other people get that."

Sarah's career as a Marine reservist could be shortened. She will find out by Feb. 15 whether she received an appointment to West Point, her father said. Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Westwood, nominated Sarah. "I think she's a very impressive young woman," Chabot said.

Chabot was particularly impressed that Sarah still wants to pursue a military career.

"It shows what an extraordinary person she is," Chabot said.

Sarah also will learn by Jan. 23 whether she earned a Navy ROTC scholarship, with a Marine option, that would give her a scholarship to one of many schools - possibly the Virginia Military Institute, which began admitting women in 1997.

Sarah already earned an Army ROTC scholarship to Xavier University, but her heart is with the Marines.

"If I had a choice, I'd go into the Marine Corps," she said. "'The few. The proud.' - I want to be a part of that and I want to be part of the Marines."

If Sarah gets into West Point or earns the ROTC scholarship, her contract with the Marines allows her to go to college and forgo the reserves, she said. Sarah plans to complete basic training regardless of whether she ends up at West Point or another university.

Sarah's parents consented to allow their 17-year-old daughter to enlist - a tough decision to make just months after losing their oldest child in Iraq.

"Obviously in my situation, it's a concern for me," said Sarah's father, John Dyer.

After numerous discussions, John decided he needed to support his daughter's decision.

Sarah's twin sister, Laura, also supports her choice.

"If she wants to do that, I think she should be allowed to," said Laura, who plans to study journalism. .

The bright side to Sarah's choice is that she likely wouldn't be an active Marine for at least two years, she said.

College or West Point would keep her away from Iraq for three to five years. The reserves would keep her stateside for probably at least two, she said.

She's ready for deployment, whenever that might occur, and she said she's not scared.

"I know that's just because I'm na´ve," she said. "I think I'm at that point where I think I'm invincible. ... If the United States needs us and calls us up, we'll be there."

Ellie