March 21 to 27
2004



March 22

Lance Cpl Andrew S. Dang, USMC

The Department of Defense announced on March 23 the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Andrew S. Dang, 20, of Foster City, Calif., died March 22, due to hostile fire near Ar Ramady, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

CAMP HURRICANE POINT, Iraq (March 24, 2004) -- Lance Cpl. Andrew S. Dang, a combat engineer from 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, was just doing his job when he was killed in the early morning hours of March 22. Dang, who recently celebrated his nineteenth birthday, and his unit were conducting raids in the Iraqi town of Ar Ramadi when hostile forces ambushed the group. A memorial service was held in front of the command operations center here March 24, to honor Dang's memory. During the ceremony, a 21-gun salute was rendered and Marines paid their last respects to the fallen warrior. Lance Cpl. Alejandro G. Jasso, a fellow combat engineer and Dang's best friend, said, "Dang was a good Marine and a good brother. He was proud of being a Marine and did his job very well." Jasso, who met the San Franciscan during combat engineering school, described Dang as a friendly, easy-going person who found the humor in almost every situation. "Even when things got really bad, he kept a smile on his face," Jasso explained. "It didn't matter to him if he hated what was going on." Dang was a combat engineer whose responsibilities included building fences, running concertina wire to fortify the camps here, as well as working with explosives. He was also a member of one of the battalion's quick reaction forces, units that are sent out to destroy enemy forces after an attack. "He never once complained about his duties," said Dang's platoon sergeant, Gunnery Sgt. Anthony P. Inman. "In fact, one of the last letters he wrote before he died said that he was afraid of leaving the quick reaction force and being put in a job where he would stay within the security of the camp. He wanted to be in the fight." During the ceremony, Brig. Gen. John F. Kelly, the assistant division commander, also made a few remarks on Dang's behalf. "I never knew Andy Dang, but I've known thousands of men just like him," Kelly said. "When a few evil men decided to fly airplanes into buildings and kill thousands of innocent people, a few men and women chose to stand up and fight. (Dang) was one of those men who devoted his life to something greater than himself: America." Dang joined the Marine Corps in 2003 and attended boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. On his off time, Jasso explained Dang enjoyed listening to rock music and playing video games. He also rode sport bikes, wrestled and loved pyrotechnics. Dang's ambitions for the future included becoming a Marine Corps officer in the aerospace technology field. "He told me that he planned to stick around the Marine Corps for a long time," Jasso added. "He also wanted to open up his own business one day." But those dreams came to an end after being in Iraq for almost a month. "When I think about what happened to Dang, it hurts," Jasso said. "It's not the end though; he's just gone home. As the many service members that came before Dang have done, he's reporting to Saint Peter in heaven. I can hear him saying, 'Saint Peter, sir, Lance Cpl. Andrew S. Dang reporting for duty.'" Dang is survived by his parents and two younger brothers.

March 25

Lance Cpl Jeffrey C. Burgess, USMC

The Department of Defense announced on March 26 the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

LCpl. Jeffrey C. Burgess, 20, of Plymouth, Mass., died March 25, due to enemy action near Al Fallujah, Iraq. He was assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 373, Marine Wing Support Group 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif.

March 25


Lance Cpl James A. Casper, USMC

The Department of Defense announced on March 26 the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

LCpl. James A. Casper, 20, of Coolidge, Texas, died March 25 due to a non-combat related incident at Al Asad, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

March 26

Pfc. Leroy Sandoval, Jr., USMC

The Department of Defense announced on March 29 the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Pfc. Leroy Sandoval Jr., 21, of Houston, Texas, died March 26, due to hostile fire in the Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

March 27


Master Sgt. Timothy Toney, USMC

The Department of Defense announced on March 29 the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Master Sgt. Timothy Toney, 37, of Manhattan, N.Y., died March 27, due to a non-combat related incident at Camp Wolverine, Kuwait. He was assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. His death is under investigation.


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