Monday, June 06, 2005

Marine Lance Cpl. Robert T. Mininger

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Robert T. Mininger, 21, of Sellersville, Pa.

Lance Cpl.. Mininger was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died June 6, 2005 of wounds sustained in an explosion while conducting combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq. Also killed was Lance Cpl. Jonathan L. Smith.

Philadelphia Inquirer -- A Bucks County man has died in Iraq from wounds suffered in an explosion during combat, the Defense Department said yesterday.

Lance Cpl. Robert Mininger, 21, of Sellersville, died Monday - one day short of his first anniversary in the Marines.

A former Pennridge High School football player and Montgomery County Community College student, Mininger was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. He was sent to Iraq in January, family members said.

The Defense Department said the explosion occurred while Mininger was conducting combat operations in Fallujah.

Mininger's job was to search for roadside bombs, and he had told family members that his Humvee had been hit with shrapnel several times, said his father, Thomas Mininger.

"Any assignment over there with a Marine unit is dangerous," said Lt. Barry Edwards, spokesman from the Second Marine Division. "Marines are in the full front of the action."

After graduating from high school in 2002, Mininger enrolled in Montgomery County Community College, said Thomas Mininger, who said his son completed his second full year at the school. He also worked at the local Wal-Mart store. He was planning to get a four-year degree, Thomas Mininger said.

Mininger said his son changed his major from computer engineering to criminal justice because he wanted to join the CIA or the FBI.

"He said he needed military service time to enhance his resume," Mininger said. "His final goal was to go into government agency work."

"Bob was never satisfied with the idea of going to school and going to work somewhere behind a desk. He needed something in his life that demanded physical activity. That's why he loved the Marines."

Mininger said he was skeptical about his son's decision to join the military. The two waited for more than six months before making the final decision.

"I would keep coming up with arguments against it, or concerns that I needed addressed," Mininger said. "One by one, he came to me with his solution to the questions. There was nothing else I could ask of him. Finally, I said, 'Yes, son, if this is what you want to do, I'm behind you 100 percent.' "

He was assigned to the Third Battalion, Eighth Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team-8, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.

Mininger said he last saw his son Jan. 2 when he was preparing for deployment.

In addition to his father, Robert Mininger is survived by his mother, Paula Zwillinger, and a younger brother, Greg.

Mininger said that funeral arrangements had not yet been made for his son, but that the family planned to bury him in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

"That's the best honor we can pay to him," Mininger said. "He was a good man."

Marine Lance Cpl. Robert T. Mininger was killed in action on 6/6/05.

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