Friday, May 02, 2008

Marine Cpl. Miguel A. Guzman

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Cpl. Miguel A. Guzman, 21, of Norwalk, Calif.

Cpl. Guzman was assigned to the Combat Logistics Battalion 1, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died May 2, 2008 in Karmah, Iraq, while supporting combat operations. Also killed were Lance Cpl. Casey L. Casanova, Lance Cpl. James F. Kimple and Sgt. Glen E. Martinez.

Roadside bomb kills 4 Marines in Anbar

By Andrew Tilghman
Staff writer

It seemed like a routine patrol along a route outside Fallujah.

The road near the town of Karma, Iraq, had been quiet for months. But shortly before midnight on May 2, a roadside bomb killed four Marines, making it Anbar province’s deadliest attack in nearly nine months.

Lance Cpl. Casey Casanova, 22, of McComb, Miss., called her father several hours before she was killed.

“She said ‘Dad, it’s boring over here. There’s nothing going on over here,’” Craig Casanova said.

His daughter was killed in the attack, along with Sgt. Glen E. Martinez, 31, of Boulder, Colo.; Cpl. James Kimple, 21, of Amanda, Ohio; and Cpl. Miguel A. Guzman, 21, of Norwalk, Calif.

They were assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion-1, Combat Logistics Regiment-1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Casanova, a field radio operator, was on her first deployment to Iraq. She was expecting a promotion to corporal in June and she was engaged to marry another Marine she knew from Camp Pendleton, her father said.

Kimple, a married father of three, was on his second deployment to Iraq. He grew up in Carroll, Ohio, a town south of Columbus. He attended high school until his senior year and earned a GED before joining the Marine Corps, said Lewis Taylor, owner of the Taylor Funeral Home in Amber, Ohio.

While stationed at Camp Pendleton, Kimple and his wife remained residents of Ohio. The family issued a brief statement following his death, saying: “His wife, children and parents are sad to say that he has given his life serving his country, but are relived to say that he did so doing what he loved to do: serving his family and his country.”

Martinez was married to Marine Sgt. Melissa Sue Martinez, who was also deployed in Fallujah. She planned to accompany his body back to Colorado, according to The Denver Post.

In high school, Glen Martinez quarterbacked the football team and competed in wrestling tournaments. He later played baseball for Ottowa University in Kansas.

He joined the Corps in 2004 at 27. A college graduate, he could have gone to Officer Candidate School, but he instead opted to enlist, the newspaper said.

Guzman was from the Los Angeles area. An organizational automotive mechanic, he joined the service in August 2004, according to a Marine Corps news release.

“These four brave and dedicated warriors will not be forgotten. Our thoughts are with the families during their time of grief,” Col. Juan G. Ayala, commander of 1st MLG, said in the release.

The four Marines killed May 2 bring the number of Marine fatalities from Iraq to 986. So far this year, 17 died from wounds suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Defense Department records.

Marine Cpl. Miguel A. Guzman remembered
The Associated Press

Several Marines struggled to explain the emotional effect of the death of Miguel A. Guzman “It’s like losing a family member,” said Sgt. Dewayne Creary.

“More like losing a best friend,” said Cpl. Matthew Savage.

“It’s like losing a brother,” said Sgt. Joshua Siroky.

Guzman, 21, of Norwalk, Calif., was killed May 2 in Karma. He was on a late-night assignment to recover a vehicle in need of repair when a roadside bomb ripped through his Humvee.

Guzman was a 2004 high school graduate and was assigned to Camp Pendleton. “His main thing was to go into the military,” said Rosa Maria Gonzalez, Guzman’s counselor.

At John H. Glenn High School, where Guzman played varsity soccer and tennis, he was remembered as friendly. “He was open to our suggestions on how to improve things,” said Bill Seals, an assistant principal.

Dozens of Marines attended Guzman’s funeral and burial. “He was a hard worker, always active, always willing to help,” Sgt. Gavino Martinez said.

He is survived by his parents, Jose and Rosalba.

At his funeral, Guzman’s eldest brother, Jose Jr., kissed his casket and whispered “I love you” in Spanish.

Marine Cpl. Miguel A. Guzman was killed in action on 05/02/08.

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