Marine's body to arrive Aug. 14
Pfc. Ivan Wilson of Clearlake was killed July 21 in Afghanistan


Published: Friday, August 1, 2008 at 4:30 a.m.

The body of a fallen Lake County Marine will return home Aug. 14, a Marine Corps official said Thursday.

Pfc. Ivan Wilson, 22, of Clearlake was killed by an explosive device in Afghanistan on July 21.

His body will be flown from Dover, Del., to Sacramento, then escorted by a military motorcade to a Lower Lake funeral home, said Marine 1st Sgt. Derek Leggett.

Leggett said the arrival time of the flight carrying Wilson's body to Sacramento International Airport has not been determined.

Wilson's father said he will make the journey with his son's casket.

Funeral services are planned for Aug. 16 at the Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Clearlake, but they remain tentative and a time has not been set, according to Jones and Lewis Funeral Home in Lower Lake.

Christopher Wilson said his son will be buried in the historic Lower Lake Cemetery.

Wilson was the first soldier from Lake County to die in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He was on his second tour of duty with the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force stationed in Twentynine Palms.

Wilson died after stepping on an explosive device while involved in combat operations in Helmand province, his father said.

He initially survived the blast, which injured 17 other troops, but died about 90 minutes later on a helicopter ambulance flying him to a military hospital, according to his family.

Helmand province is a desert region in southwest Afghanistan where fighting with Taliban insurgents has been fierce.

American casualties have averaged seven a month since the campaign to drive the Taliban out of Afghanistan began in late 2001, while 60 U.S. troops a month on average have died in Iraq since the 2003 invasion and exceeded 100 a month as recently as last year.

Local casualties in Afghanistan include Army Ranger Christopher Gathercole, 21, of Santa Rosa who was killed by small-arms fire May 26; Army paratrooper Ryan J. Connolly, 24, of Santa Rosa, killed by a land mine June 24; and Marine Staff Sgt. Dwight J. Morgan, 24, of Willits, who died in a helicopter crash in 2002.

Since May, U.S. losses have been roughly equal in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though about five times as many U.S troops are assigned to Iraq than the 36,000 in Afghanistan.

When NATO casualties in Afghanistan are included, the May-July death toll exceeds coalition losses in Iraq.

You can reach Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473

or glenda.anderson@