View Full Version : Bedford Marine killed in Iraq

03-10-06, 07:02 AM
Bedford Marine killed in Iraq
By Matt Busse and Dionne Waugh
The News & Advance
Friday, March 10, 2006

A Marine from Bedford was killed Tuesday in Iraq, the U.S. Department of Defense said Thursday.

Gunnery Sgt. Justin R. Martone, 31, was killed by an improvised explosive device in the Al Anbar province of Iraq, according to the DOD.

Martone, a 1993 graduate of Staunton River High School, is the fifth person with ties to Central Virginia to die in Iraq or Afghanistan since the war began. He is the first this year.

Martone was assigned to the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Okinawa, Japan.

A government Web site about Marines in Japan describes Martone as a senior explosive ordnance disposal technician.

It’s known as one of the more dangerous jobs because technicians neutralize high-risk explosives, according to the Web site. Technicians detect, disassemble and dispose of unexploded ordnance.

They are trained in all conventional, improvised, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, the site states. One or two EOD Marines are attached to every deploying unit that takes any type of ordnance with it anywhere in the world.

According to a U.S. Marines news story about a 2004 Annual Festival of Freedom and Air Show in Manassas, Martone enjoyed showing people what he did.

“It’s a good opportunity to get out in the community and show them what we do,” Martone said in the article. “I think the people really appreciate us coming out.”

Since 2005, four other Central Virginia-based troops have been killed overseas.

Sgt. Jesse Strong, 24, a Liberty University graduate, died Jan. 26, 2005, along with three other members of the Marine Reservist Company C, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, which is based in Lynchburg.

The unit was ambushed during an intense firefight in Iraq’s Anbar Province.

Staff Sgt. Kristopher Linwood Shepherd, a 26-year-old Rustburg High School graduate, died Feb. 11, 2005, in Baghdad when an improvised explosive device exploded.

Chrystal Gaye Stout, 23, a long-distance Liberty University student, died April 6 when the helicopter she was riding in crashed in Afghanistan. She was an E-4 specialist with the Army National Guard reserves.

Pfc. Jason Scheuerman, 20, died July 30 in Muqdadiyah, Iraq, from non-combat related injuries. He attended Heritage High School before finishing school in Sanford, N.C., in 2003.

Contact Matt Busse at (434) 385-5533 or mbusse@newsadvance.com. Contact Dionne Waugh at (434) 385-5537 or dwaugh@newsadvance.com.

Rest In Peace