Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Marine Lance Cpl. Travis J. Layfield

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Travis J. Layfield, 19, of Fremont, California.

Lance Cpl. Layfield died due to hostile fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.

By Eleanor Yang
April 10, 2004

Lance Cpl. Travis Layfield knew from the time he joined ROTC in junior high school that he was bound for the military.

While training at Camp Pendleton last August, Layfield sent family members enthusiastic letters.

"This is where I need to be," he wrote to his cousin Ashley Mills. "This is who I am."

"He was such a proud Marine," Mills said.

Layfield, a 19-year-old rifleman, died Tuesday from hostile fire in Al Anbar province, Iraq.

High school friends and members of his large, tightknit family planned to gather in last night for a candlelight vigil in his honor.

Many praise his generous spirit.

When his older sister, Tiffany Bolton, was juggling raising a 4-year-old with finishing college, Layfield volunteered to take care of her son at night for six months.

"He had a very big heart," said Bolton, 31. "He thought of everyone above himself."

Layfield had two passions in life: being in the military and working on his 1964 Ford Galaxy. He souped up the car -- restored the paint, installed a stereo system and worked under its hood.

Family members recalled how he liked to watch The History Channel and talk war with his grandfather, who was a Navy Seabee in World War II.

At school, Layfield did his own thing.

"Some kids run in certain circles," Bolton said. "He didn't fall into those crowds. He didn't care what people said or thought."

Layfield, who had been in Iraq since March, told his family he was shaken about what he saw, not dispirited.

"It was so much to take in," Bolton said. "He'd do anything for his country."

Associated Press

Travis J. Layfield was a history buff who used to watch films on World War II on the History Channel as a boy.

His grandfather was a Navy Seabee, which may have influenced his decision to join the Navy ROTC in high school. He enlisted in the Marine Corps right after high school graduation.

Lance Cpl. Layfield, 19, of Fremont, Calif., was killed April 6 during a battle in Iraq’s Anbar province. He was based at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Layfield had been enthusiastic about going to Iraq.

"He always said he was excited to go," said Layfield's cousin Ashley Mills, 19. "But you could see in his face he was a little scared ... He always assured us he was ready to go and that he would come back."

"He thought this would be his career, the Marines," said his sister, Tiffany Bolton, 31. "We were very proud of him."

Other survivors include his parents, Diane Bolton Layfield and John Layfield.

Marine Lance Cpl. Travis J. Layfield was killed in action on 04/06/04.

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