TAMPA, Fla. Marine Lance Cpl. Antonio Sledd sent an e-mail to his mother from Kuwait about a week ago reminding her to "tell everybody I love them and we are doing our best to protect y'all's country."

On Tuesday, the parents of the Marine based at California's Camp Pendleton were informed that he was shot to death by two gunmen who ambushed troops taking part in a training exercise in Failaka, an island 10 miles east of Kuwait City.