Friday, May 02, 2008

Marine Lance Cpl. James F. Kimple

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. James F. Kimple, 21, of Carroll, Ohio

LCpl Kimple 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, Cpl. Miguel A. Guzman 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.

More than 500 attend public funeral services for slain Marine

By Tierra Palmer
The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette

CARROLL, Ohio — Mick Sutherland felt as though he buried a son Saturday, though he and Marine Lance Cpl. James F. Kimple are not blood-related.

“To a Marine parent, they’re all our sons and daughters,” said Sutherland, who flew from Daphne, Ala., to attend Kimple’s funeral Saturday.

Kimple, 21, served alongside Sutherland’s son Lance Cpl. C.J. Sutherland in Iraq and stood up for C.J. as his best man at his wedding to wife, Bridget, earlier this year.

“My son was James’ best friend and roommate, and James was best man at his wedding,” Sutherland said following the funeral honoring the fallen Marine. “I’m here to represent my son and honor James and their friendship.”

Kimple, who was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart on Saturday, was one of four Marines killed May 2 in Anbar province in Iraq while supporting combat operations.

The Marines were killed when a roadside bomb exploded.

The other Marines to die with Kimple were Lance Cpl. Casey L. Casanova, 22, of McComb, Miss.; Cpl. Miguel A. Guzman, 21, of Norwalk, Calif.; and Sgt. Glen E. Martinez, 31, of Boulder, Colo.

Sutherland said his son C.J. was riding in a Humvee in front of Kimple’s vehicle when the blast occurred.

“They knew the dangers, but they believed in what they doing, and I honor every one of them. I just regret that I couldn’t go to all four funerals, but I feel proud to have gotten to know (them) all, “ Sutherland said in reference to the fallen heroes.

He was accompanied Saturday by his daughter-in-law, Bridget, who came from Chicago to attend the service. His wife chose to represent their family at Casanova’s funeral in Summit, Miss.

She is believed to be the first woman from Mississippi killed in Iraq, according to Hattiesburg American.

Sutherland and his daughter-in-law were among more than 500 people to pay final respects to Kimple in the auditorium of Bloom-Carroll Middle School, where his funeral took place.

Mourners honored all who died with Kimple during his funeral, said Pastor Terry Borah, who presided over the service and delivered a message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

“Pastor Borah did a wonderful job officiating and gave a very moving message, which was that sometimes we do not understand things but that we have a loving and gracious God and we have the hope of seeing him again in heaven,” Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen said.

Phalen’s office was one of several law enforcement agencies represented at Saturday’s service. Others included the Carroll and Pickerington police departments. Also in attendance were members of the Greenfield Township Fire Department.

Borah reiterated that message during his eulogy at Greenfield Township Cemetery, where Kimple was laid to rest.

Residents lined both sides of High Street as the hearse carrying his body was escorted by a brigade of more than 70 motorcycle riders to the cemetery led by a group of U.S. Marine Corps leathernecks. Among them were a family of four standing next to a black pickup — father and son both held their baseball caps to their hearts.

One motorist, a young man dressed in brown fatigues, left his vehicle to salute Kimple as the profession turned onto U.S. 33, which was closed temporarily to accommodate the line of cars that stretched for more than a half mile.

Kimple’s widow, Amber, said her family is touched by the outpouring of support and concern from the community.

“I’m taking it one day at a time,” she said after her husband’s burial concluded. “His platoon is really my support group.”

Family, friends and neighbors said they will continue to rally around Kimple’s family.

“I will continue to keep his family and his comrades in my prayers in the weeks and months to come,” Phalen said.

Bloom-Carroll Superintendent Roger Mace said the sacrifice Kimple made should never be forgotten.

“It is important to remember the sacrifices that are being made every day for our freedom. I think Carroll, Ohio, ought to be very proud of James Kimple,” he said.

Marine Lance Cpl. James F. Kimple remembered
The Associated Press

Mary Dawson remembers the youthful James F. Kimple well. He lived next door to her when he was a child.

“All I remember was a really good kid,” Dawson said. “He helped my husband time and time again with anything like lifting, digging or anything else. James was just right there to help. He was a polite, good-acting kid. He was extra special to us.”

Kimple, 21, of Carroll, Ohio, was killed May 2 during combat in Anbar, Iraq. He was assigned to Camp Pendleton.

Kimple was an avid reader. He often read books — hidden within schoolbooks — during class.

Determined to join the military, he left high school during his senior year. He earned a GED and joined the Marines, said Jan Hodge, a vocational teacher.

“He was a smart man. He just didn’t care for school,” she said. “He wanted to learn things that were going to benefit him — things he would use for life, and he would rather be out working or going into the military.”

He is survived by his wife, Amber, and three children, Drake, Maleah and Dominic.

“I was so proud of him because I knew he’d be successful at whatever he chose,” Hodge said.

Marine Lance Cpl. James F. Kimple was killed in action on 05/02/08.

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