Monday, September 10, 2007

Marine Cpl. Carlos E. Gil Orozco

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Cpl. Carlos E. Gil Orozco, 23, of San Jose, Calif.

Cpl. Gil Orozco was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Sept. 10, 2007 while conducting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq. Also killed was Lance Cpl. Jon T. Hicks

Families, friends remember N.C.-based Marines killed in Iraq
The Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Carlos Gil Orozco wasn’t a great student, but one goal pushed him to hit the books: becoming a Marine.

“He was kind of a troublemaker, you know, he got bad grades and wouldn’t do his homework,” said his sister, Myriam Johanna Gil Orozco. “But he wanted to be a Marine. So he studied real hard, especially algebra. He’d stay up all night studying.”

After failing the entrance test twice, he passed.

But after just two years of military service, Cpl. Gil Orozco, 23, who was based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., was killed Sept. 10 during combat operations in Iraq’s Anbar province, the Defense Department announced Sept. 12.

His family told the San Jose Mercury News that his tank rolled over an explosive device. Also killed was Lance Cpl. Jon T. Hicks Jr., 20, of Atco, N.J. Both Marines were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.

Gil Orozco’s parents moved the family from Colombia to the U.S. when he was 8 years old, hoping to give their children a better education. They became frustrated when their son didn’t do well in school and thought the Marines would be good for him.

“My dad was actually happy,” Myriam Gil Orozco said. “He’d rather have him be a Marine than out on the streets being in gangs or doing drugs.”

The married father of two left behind a 3-month-old son, Kenny, whom he had only seen in pictures and over the Internet. He had been scheduled to return home Nov. 2, and had planned on becoming a police officer.

The family was distraught when a group of Marines delivered the news of Gil Orozco’s death Sept. 10 and had trouble controlling their emotions, his sister said.

“My dad tried to hit the Marines,” she said. “He started hitting his head against the wall so hard that a vein broke in his forehead.”

“I’ve cried so much that I don’t have any more tears left,” she said.

In addition to his sister and infant son, Gil Orozco is survived by his parents, Carlos Gabriel Gil and Myriam Orozco; his wife, Esmarelda Gil; and a 5-year-old son, Carlos Alexander Gil Ibarrola.

Marine Cpl. Carlos E. Gil Orozco was killed in action on 9/10/07.

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