Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Marine Sgt. Justin F. Hoffman

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Sgt. Justin F. Hoffman, 27, of Delaware, Ohio.

Sgt Hoffman died when his amphibious Assault Vehicle was attacked by an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations south of Haditha, Iraq. He was assigned to Marine Force Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Columbus, Ohio. As part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was attached to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

Sgt. Justin Hoffman, 27, liked motorcycles and cars and "pretty much anything that was competitive," said his father, Robert Hoffman, 58, of Delaware. He has two younger brothers, Travis 26, and Tyler, 20.

His father said Justin was a graduate of Worthington Christian High School and Ohio State University. He joined the reserves before his junior year of college.

"I think he wanted to be in the Marine Corps but wanted to go to school and continue to work," Robert said.

The father, who also served in the Marines, said he was proud of Justin.

"He's in God's hands," he said. "That's the way I've looked at it."

Justin F. Hoffman’s mom chuckled at his quirks: the playful voicemail messages left on her cell phone, the endless AOL Instant Messenger chats, his curious ability to eat mealworms at pet shops.

“Justin was more or less a reality show,” Carole Hoffman said. Hoffman, 27, of Delaware, Ohio, died Aug. 3 during combat operations south of Haditha. He was based in Columbus.

His father, Robert Hoffman, said Justin was bright — an Ohio State University graduate who worked in information systems at Cardinal Health — but was big and strong and needed an outlet for his energy.

After six years, his time in the Marine Reserves was up last year, but when he learned his unit was to be activated, he signed up again.

“He wanted to be there for his men,” Carole said. “He wanted to lead his men.”

Lately, he had enlisted family members to scout for a diamond ring.

“He teased about proposing as soon as he got off the plane,” said his girlfriend, Teri Price. “I can’t imagine my future without him. I loved him more than anything.”

Justin’s younger brother, Tyler, said, “He was a great brother and more than that he was a great friend."

Marine Sgt. Justin F. Hoffman was killed in action on 08/03/05.

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