Monday, November 15, 2004

Marine Lance Cpl. Shane E. Kielion

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Shane E. Kielion, 23, of La Vista, Nebraska

Lance Cpl. Kielion was assigned 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.; killed Nov. 15, 2004 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

Marine killed in Iraq just hours after son's birth
OMAHA (AP) — Marine Lance Cpl. Shane Kielion was killed in action in Iraq not knowing that his first child had been born just hours before.

April Kielion, the Marine's widow and high school sweetheart, gave birth to a boy in Omaha on Monday, said Kielion's old high school football coach, Jay Ball.

"She's hanging in there," Ball said. "She's a strong woman. She's got a terrific family and lots of supportive friends."

The baby was named Shane Kielion Jr., said April Kielion's father, Don Armstrong. He said his daughter was "doing as well as to be expected under the pressure."

Shane Kielion, a rifleman in the 1st Marine Division of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, was killed Monday in Al Anbar Province, the military said.

Officials at Camp Pendleton, Calif., where he was stationed, refused to comment on how he was killed. Anbar Province includes Fallujah — which American forces now control after a lengthy offensive — as well as other guerrilla strongholds.

The family is numb, said Ball. "It's time for them to do some healing," Ball said.

Kielion joined the Marines on Dec. 3, 2002, and this was his second tour in Iraq.

Ball said Kielion had come home to visit in August, and bragged about his family.

"He was excited about his baby on the way and he always told me how beautiful his wife was," Ball told KMTV News in Omaha.

He started at quarterback for Omaha South High School in 1997 and 1998. He went to Peru State College for a short time on a football scholarship, but when that didn't work out he returned to Omaha to work and joined the Marines, Ball said.

"He wanted to improve his life for his family," Ball said.

Students shower slain Marine’s son with gifts

OMAHA, Neb. — The children at St. Bernadette School last Christmas held a baby shower for the baby Jesus. This Christmas, it was a shower for another baby.

The students decided this year to focus their attention on Shane Edward Kielion Jr. —born Nov. 15, the same day hisMarine father, Shane Kielion Sr., was killed in Iraq.

On Monday, the baby’s grandfather, Roger Kielion, drove his Jeep up to the doors of St. Bernadette to receive the gifts for his first grandchild.

“I was amazed at how much the students had collected,” he said, filling the entire back seat and cargo area of the vehicle with gifts.

The gifts included disposable diapers, baby wipes, baby clothing, blankets, bedding, gift cards and certificates and more than $700, said school counselor Linda Reese, who well understands losing a loved one in war. Her brother was killed in the Korean War.

The infant’s mother, April Kielion, was equally appreciative of the children’s efforts.

“So much has happened that I’m not celebrating Christmas this year,” she said, “but my son is because of so many people.”

The Kielion family has received gifts from strangers around the country who heard of their loss, but local efforts have been especially touching, the Kielions said.

“The St. Bernadette children had so many questions about the baby that I’m planning to bring him and his mother to visit early next year,” Roger Kielion said.

— Associated Press

Marine Lance Cpl. Shane E. Kielion was killed in action on 11/15/04.

1 comment:

April said...

how sad, yet heart warming at the same time. It's good to know there are still caring people in this world with warm hearts! My heart goes out to April. (my name is April as well, and I can not imagine how heart breaking and hard it is for her to have to deal with the loss of her husband, especially the same day their son was born. It is really sad the war has cost so many lives and so many lost chances for our soldiers to meet their new children.