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Thread: Memorial Day in Iraq
05-26-08, 09:33 AM #1
Memorial Day in Iraq
MILITARY: Memorial Day in Iraq
By MARK WALKER - Staff Writer
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq ---- A bell will ring here Monday in honor of U.S. service members killed in combat since troops from Camp Pendleton returned to this Anbar province base earlier this year.
The toll: Twelve troops, 11 Marines and one Army soldier.
"We'll have a tolling of the bell ceremony and read the names of those who've given the ultimate sacrifice since Feb. 8," Sgt. Maj. Neil O'Connell said in a recent interview.
Memorial services have an obvious deeper impact when conducted in a war zone by and for the men and women serving together.
"Our service will encompass not only those lost recently, but will also recognize and remember all those who have been killed in the five years (U.S. troops) have been here," said O'Connell, who serves as the top-ranking enlisted man for Camp Pendleton's I Marine Expeditionary Force, Forward, now based at Camp Fallujah.
The most recent deaths of Marines from Camp Fallujah came May 2 when a massive roadside bomb tore apart a Humvee carrying Sgt. Glen Martinez, Cpl. Miguel Guzman and Lance Cpls. Casey L. Casanova and James Kimple.
Casanova became the seventh female Marine to die in action in Iraq, according to the Web site icasualties.org, which tracks troop deaths and injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Her death and those of her three fellow Marines from Camp Pendleton's Combat Logistics Battalion 1, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group increased to seven the toll from roadside bomb deaths for Camp Fallujah troops killed since February.
As North County residents pause Monday to honor fallen troops from all U.S. wars, there are other statistics to keep in mind:
---- 349 locally based troops have died in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003.
---- At least 43 residents of
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