Thursday, December 01, 2005

Marine Lance Cpl. Scott T. Modeen

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Scott T. Modeen, 24, of Hennepin, Minn.

Lance Cpl Modeen was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif.; attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward); killed Dec. 1 by an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Fallujah, Iraq.

Modeen, a 24-year-old lance corporal, joined the Marines after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and was in his second tour of duty in Iraq.

"Scott was the kind of person who could make you laugh whenever you were around him," said a statement from his family. "After 9/11, he joined the Marines and was proud to be defending our freedom. He was proud to be a Marine."

by Sue Webber - Sun Newspapers

A memorial billboard tribute to Lance Cpl. Scott Modeen, 24, of Robbinsdale, was unveiled Jan. 5 in Crystal. Modeen was one of 10 Marines killed Dec. 1, 2005, in Iraq. (Bill Jones Sun Newspapers)

A month-long tribute to Lance Cpl. Scott Modeen of Robbinsdale was unveiled Jan. 5 in Crystal.

Modeen, 24, was one of 10 Marines killed Dec. 1, 2005, in Iraq. His funeral was Dec. 12 at The Church of the Sacred Heart in Robbinsdale.

A memorial billboard designed by one of Modeen's friends was installed last week by Clear Channel Outdoor, on the south side of 42nd Avenue North between Brunswick and Colorado avenues, facing east above Keng's Chow Mein restaurant.

"We were approached by a friend of Scott Modeen's who asked us to do it," said Jeff Fuller, a representative of Clear Channel Outdoor. "We felt it was something we wanted to get involved in."

Matt Guertin, a 1999 Cooper High School graduate and friend of Modeen's, came up with the idea and designed the outdoor board.

"I'd known Scott since ninth grade," said Guertin, an entrepreneur who lives in Golden Valley and owns his own painting company.

Guertin said he and other friends of Modeen's collaborated on the design idea following the Marine's funeral. Guertin used his computer graphics skills to create the design and submitted it to Clear Channel Outdoor for consideration.

Modeen's mother, Kim, said last week she was eagerly awaiting a chance to see the billboard.

In the meantime, she is savoring a last letter from her son that the mailman delivered to her home the day of Scott's funeral Dec. 12.

"The envelope said, 'Don't open me until Christmas,'" Kim Modeen said.

She waited until Dec. 26 to open her son's letter, she said.

"It was the most grown up, beautiful letter," she said. "I just bawled and bawled. It was a 'Dear Mom' letter. He told me how much he loved me, that I was in his heart all day, and that he couldn't wait for a home-cooked meal.

"He said he had a job to do and he was doing it so others could enjoy the holidays with their families."

Her son's letter reminded her that the invisible bubble would keep him safe, said Kim Modeen, who plans to frame her son's last letter.

Marine Lance Cpl. Scott T. Modeen was killed in action on 12/01/05.

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