Thursday, June 26, 2008

Marine Sgt. Marcus W. Preud'homme

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Sgt. Marcus W. Preud'homme, 23, of North Miami Beach, Fla.

Cpl. Preudhomme was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii; died June 26, 2008 while supporting combat operations in Balad, Iraq. Also killed were Capt. Philip J. Dykeman and Lt. Col. Max A. Galeai.

Hundreds Gather To Honor Fallen Marine

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The body of a local Marine killed last week in a bombing in Iraq's Anbar province was returned home to NAS Jacksonville on Wednesday.

Cpl. Marcus Preud'homme was one of three Marines and about 20 other people killed in the suicide attack.

The body of Preud'homme was returned home to NAS Jax as his family, several Marines and hundreds of Navy personnel gathered to honor the fallen Marine.

Marching in formation, standing tall and choking back tears, members of the community and the military joined Preud'homme's family, both biological and Marine Corps, in paying respects to a fallen hero.

Preud'homme's family members were on the tarmac as the coffin was brought off the plane.

The 23-year-old was from Jacksonville Beach. Family friends told Channel 4 the 2004 Fletcher High School graduate was in his second tour in Iraq and was due home in September.

The Marines said Preud'homme joined the Marines in 2005. Friends said Preud'homme was recently promoted to sergeant, but the Defense Department identified him as a corporal.

His awards include the Purple Heart and the Combat Action Ribbon.

"One thing about Marines is they never leave anybody. For the Marines, the funeral for a fallen Marine is about a high an honor as there is," said Dan Mcarthy, of the Department of Military Affairs. "In a lot of ways, everyone of these kids are our son. They may be biologically linked to certain people but they come right from our community. We have a bunch of Marine League members … It really is a full city, military, community effort to reach out to this family."

In addition to Preud'homme, Lt. Col. Max A. Galeai, 42, and Capt. Phil Dykeman, 38, were also killed. Galeai was the battalion's commander.

"They were all outstanding Marines and heroes to us all," said Lt. Binford Strickland, spokesman for the base in Kaneohe. "Our hearts and thoughts go out to the families."

Preud'homme is the second Jacksonville Beach man to die in Iraq this month. Army Sgt. 1st Class Gerard Reed died June 11 in Baghdad.

Preud'homme will be laid to rest on Thursday in a private ceremony.

Marine Sgt. Marcus W. Preud'homme was killed in action on 6/26/08.

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