April 5,

April 5

Five Pendleton Marines killed near Ramadi

NBC Sandiego ~~ On Monday (Apr 5), five members of the Camp Pendleton-headquartered 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, which has been assigned to the area around Ramadi that is known as the Sunni Triangle, were killed in action near the city of insurgent stronghold of Fallujah. MSNBC reported that the men died in a fierce firefight near an Iraqi government compound and that it was not known whether they died attacking or defending that position.

Lance Cpl. Shane Lee Goldman, USMC

Lance Cpl. Shane Lee Goldman, 19, of Orange, Texas, was killed Monday while on patrol in the turbulent city of Fallujah, where a mob killed four American civilians and mutilated their bodies last week. "He loved the Marines. Our whole family is full of Marines. He just wanted to carry out the family tradition," James Davis said of his cousin, who would have turned 20 next week. "He didn't have any reservations about what he was going to do. He said, 'Hey, it is my job. That is what I am going to do.' " Goldman, who joined the Marines in 2002, became engaged to his girlfriend a few months ago, said Davis, a police officer in Orange. Goldman served with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Davis said. It was his second stint in Iraq. After the liberation of Baghdad, his unit had returned to the United States before deploying again.

Associated Press -- ORANGE, Texas -- The uncle of Lance Cpl. Shane Goldman said that it was his nephew's dream to become a Marine. "Ever since he could walk and talk, he wanted to be a Marine. He made it," Neal Davis told close to 1,000 mourners gathered at North Orange Baptist Church for the funeral of the 19-year-old who died April 5 in Iraq. Davis, a 61-year-old retired Marine, told the mourners Friday that the last time he saw his nephew was three days before Goldman shipped out for duty in Japan and later for his second tour in Iraq. During a conversation that lasted for more than an hour at a restaurant outside the gates of Camp Pendleton, Calif., Davis said Goldman told him he was worried he might not make it home a second time. "He knew it was tough, he'd gone to Iraq one time," Davis said. "He said, 'Uncle Neal, I have a bad feeling about this.' I told him to keep his head down." "He started to walk away and then turned back with that little grin and said, 'I'm not sure how bad it's going to be, but tell the family I'll try not to let them down,'" Davis said. Emotion thickening his voice, Davis said, "He didn't." Goldman, who leaves behind a fiance, attended Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School and graduated from Parkview Baptist High School in Louisiana before joining the Marine Corps in 2002. The Marine's father, George "Scooter" Goldman of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, said that when Shane was growing up he used to kiss his father goodbye on the phone. In the last call he received from his son, Shane told Scooter how different this mission felt from the first time he was in Iraq and kissed him goodbye on the phone again. "He told me that they (the Iraqis) don't like us like they did the first time," Goldman said. Goldman's flag-draped casket was carried from the church by an honor guard of Marines. The funeral procession was led through Orange by an escort of more than 20 police, sheriff's and emergency services vehicles with their lights flashing. Goldman was buried with full military honors. The memorial service for a soldier from the Central Texas town of Rocksprings is set for today at Rocksprings School Auditorium. The funeral for Sgt. Cody Eckhart, 25, who died April 10 in Iraq, was set for Sunday at the United Methodist Church in Hondo.

Pfc. Moises Langhorst, USMC

Associated Press ~~ MOOSE LAKE, MINNESOTA: A second Marine from northern Minnesota has been killed while deployed in the Middle East. Moises Langhorst, 19, died Monday while on duty on Iraq. The circumstances were unclear. George Langhorst, Moises' father, declined to be interviewed by The Associated Press on Wednesday. ``We're not talking to the media at this time,'' he said. ``We'd like three or four more days to grieve, then maybe we'll talk.'' Moose Lake school superintendent Ted Caroline told KSTP-TV that Langhorst graduated in 2003 from Moose Lake High School, where he played several sports and participated in theater. ``He was a great kid,'' Caroline said. The Defense Department did not confirm Langhorst's death. Last month, the body of Marine Pfc. Matthew G. Milczark, 18, of Kettle River, was found at a chapel in Kuwait. He death was caused by a non-combat shooting, authorities have said. Milczark graduated from Moose Lake High School with Langhorst, Caroline said. ``They were good buddies and had planned to go into the military together, and hoped to serve together in the same unit, even,'' Caroline told the station. Caroline said Langhorst's death was hard on the staff. ``When we notified staff this morning it was very, very difficult,'' he told KSTP-TV. Flags around the small town about 40 miles southwest of Duluth were at half-staff Wednesday. Counselors were at the high school. News of Langhorst's death came the day after the Defense Department announced that Marine Cpl. Tyler R. Fey, 22, of Eden Prairie, had been killed Sunday after attacks in Anbar province Iraq. ``He was a kind and sweet kid. He was proud of his decision to be in the service and serve as a combat engineer,'' said his cousin, Char Loving. Fey was assigned to the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Pendleton, Calif. Including Langhorst and Fey, six Minnesota troops have now been killed in combat in Iraq. Although it was not clear where Langhorst died, the military announced Wednesday that two Marines had been killed in recent fighting in Fallujah, Iraq, to uproot Sunni Muslim insurgents there. A total 10 Marines are known to have been wounded since the Marine siege of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, began early Monday, when one Marine was killed. The Marines have not given a full casualty count, nor have they named those killed.

Lance Cpl. Matthew Serio, USMC

Associated Press ~ PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island: Lance Cpl. Matthew Serio's last e-mail to his parents from the desert of Iraq, he requested homemade cookies and chewing tobacco. ''The guys had run out,'' his father, Anthony, explained. ''It was dry, dirty and hot, and he was looking out for his friends.'' Serio, 21, was killed in Anbar province, home to Fallujah, Iraq, on Monday, after his unit, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, arrived to help quell an uprising, his father said. His parents were contacted on Tuesday by the Marines, who told them Serio, of North Providence, was hit by shrapnel. On Wednesday, the Defense Department confirmed Serio's death from injuries received from hostile fire. A former high school football player who was considering a career in law enforcement, Serio enlisted in the Marines in 2001, after graduating from North Providence High School. ''He wanted to be a part of a team. He found that in the Marines,'' Anthony Serio said. After boot camp, Serio was ordered to Camp Pendleton, Calif. As a recruit, he watched the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, on television. His father said the attacks didn't deter him from service. ''My wife would say she tried to talk him out of it. But patriotism was high. He wanted to be a Marine,'' the elder Serio said. Matthew Serio's unit was one of the first into Iraq at the start of the war, his family said. Photos he sent home show him standing with his company atop the ruins of one of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's Baghdad palaces last April. Serio returned to North Providence a few times after President Bush declared an end to major combat last May. His last trip home was around Thanksgiving, his father said. Serio brought Iraqi cigarettes home as gifts. He told funny stories about combat, ruined cities and life as a soldier. ''He was always good to have around. He was always upbeat and could get along with anybody,'' his father said. Serio was the second of three boys. His older brother, A.J., 23, is in the Navy, serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. His younger brother, Chris, 19, is a freshman at Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire. ''We're proud,'' the elder Serio said. ''He was a Marine and he had a job to do and he did it.''

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom:

Pfc. Christopher Ramos, 26, of Albuquerque, N.M.

Cpl. Jesse L. Thiry, 23, of Casco, Wis.

Both Marines died April 5, due to injuries received from hostile fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. They were assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Pfc. Christopher Ramos, USMC

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, Associated Press -- A 26-year-old Marine from Albuquerque was among those killed this week in Iraq's al-Anbar province. Pfc. Christopher Ramos died Monday. His father, Al Ramos, said his son had always wanted to be a Marine and was proud of what he was doing. Aramos says he encouraged his son -- a graduate of West Mesa High School -- to enlist. Christopher Ramos, 26, was married to Diane Ramos, also of Albuquerque. They have a daughter who is about 18 months old. Sen. Pete Domenici said Christopher Ramos has been recommended for a purple heart. Gov. Bill Richardson said flags will fly at half-staff in New Mexico until Ramos' body returns from Iraq.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Albuquerque Tribune -- Lance Cpl. Christopher Ramos, killed in action in Iraq last week, was buried today by God and country. As the sweet smells of incense and the words of "How Great Thou Art" filled the air, a Marine color guard unfolded the American flag and draped it over Ramos' casket in the vestibule of St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church in Paradise Hills. "In peace, let us bring our brother home to his gentle rest," the Rev. John Conway said, following a Mass attended by about 300 people who occupied every pew in the church. Ramos, 26, was killed last week when he was wounded by shrapnel wounds in the al-Anbar province near Fallujah, west of Baghdad. The 1995 West Mesa graduate was an infantryman with the 1st Marine Division and was serving his second stint in Iraq. Survivors include his wife, Diane, an 18-month-old daughter and a 4-year-old stepson. During Mass, Ramos' casket sat in the aisle before the altar as Conway, pastor at St. Jude's, celebrated the service. "We commend our brother, Chris, into your hands, Lord," Conway prayed, "and give you thanks for the blessings you bestowed upon him in this life." Conway conveyed the condolences of Archbishop Michael Sheehan to Ramos' friends and family. "Like many of us, he has been touched by Iraq," Conway said of the archbishop. "His niece is a nurse over there." Conway also thanked the many people - especially members of the military and police agencies - who had demonstrated respect for Ramos and support for his family. Outside the church, waiting to escort mourners to burial services at Mount Calvary Cemetery, were long lines of police and emergency vehicles, many with red lights flashing. Motorcycles, police cars and fire trucks from the Albuquerque Police Department, the Albuquerque Fire Department, the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department and the New Mexico State Police were part of the procession. People leaving the service passed by the church's wall of honor, which featured photographs of several people in military service, young relatives of parishioners. Ramos' picture was there, the date of his death penciled in beneath. Some people paused to place a hand on it, a gesture of regret and goodbye.

Cpl Jesse L. Thiry, USMC

WBAY TV - A Northeast Wisconsin Marine has been killed in the fighting in Iraq. Cpl. Jesse L. Thiry, 23, from Casco, was killed this week while fighting in Fallujah. Cpl. Thiry was a 1st Division Marine based out of Camp Pendleton, California. Fallujah is an extremely dangerous area for U.S. troops right now, in an area known as the Sunni Triangle, an area heavily occupied by Saddam Hussein's supporters and anti-American sentiment. Thiry was an all-American. He grew up on his family's farm, one of eight children, and was engaged to marry his high school sweetheart next year. Now in the small Kewaunee County community, there is shock and sadness over his sudden death. Corporal Thiry is being remembered as a young man who loved his job and loved his country. It's not unusual for things to be pretty quiet and laid back in Casco. Wednesday it was also very somber. "It's a real tragedy and sad, and you hear it every day but it really doesn't strike you until it's someone you know," Gary Thayse says. Thayse is related to the Thiry family, first cousin to Jesse Thiry's father. Rudy Hanamann is a lifelong friend. "I knew him from small on, and we were just talking about him this morning, how he used to play in the water puddles up by Lions Park up here and his dad would say 'Get out of there,' he'd say no he wouldn't. He was just a nice young man." Thiry was a 2000 graduate of Luxemburg-Casco High School, where he played football, wrestled, and ran track. The flag there was lowered to half-staff. "Good kid. Lot of energy and a little rambunctious but a good kid," principal Steve Okoniewski remembers. The high school principal remembers Jesse decided during his junior year to become a Marine, and from then on it was Jesse's life mission. His grades improved and he became focused. "When he came back after he'd been in the service, you could tell that he matured a lot, there was an air of confidence about him and I think that was truly his role in life was to dedicate himself to the service," Okienowski said. "He really loved the Marines and he loved what he was doing, he loved his job, he was proud of his country," Hanamann said. It seems in small towns the impact is sometimes felt even more. "In a small community everybody knows everybody, and when something like this happens, it's like a part of your own and it really hurts," Thayse said. "It's not a statistic any more," Okoniewski said. "It's somebody who was going to serve and come back and probably be a member of the community, fit in, and obviously that's never going to happen now."

~ H O M E ~