Thursday, August 06, 2009

Marine Lance Cpl. Travis T. Babine

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Travis T. Babine, 20, of San Antonio

LCpl Babine was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii; died Aug. 6, 2009 while supporting combat operations in Farah province, Afghanistan.

Honolulu Advertiser -- About three weeks ago, Marine Lance Cpl. Travis T. Babine's heavily armored vehicle rolled over a pressure-detonated roadside bomb in southwestern Afghanistan.

There were five Marines inside. The bomb blew off the rear wheel and axle with such force that it sent the parts flying 120 feet.

But Babine, 20, and the other Marines in the hulking Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle were unhurt.

On Thursday, Babine wasn't so lucky. He and two other Kane'ohe Bay Marines, along with a Marine out of Okinawa, Japan, were killed when their thinner-skinned Humvee hit a roadside bomb in Farah province, according to family. It was another of the deadly bombs by which U.S. service members are increasingly being killed in Afghanistan.

Alice Babine, Travis' mother, yesterday said in a shaky voice that her strong faith was helping carry her through the death of her son.

"That's how you get through these things," she said by phone from Texas. "I'm confident that Travis is with God now and I'm confident that I'll see him again. God doesn't owe me an explanation, and I don't demand one. But one day, I'll understand."

The Pentagon yesterday announced the deaths of the three Kane'ohe Bay Marines, a day after a Kane'ohe Bay sailor also died in a roadside bomb attack in the same region.

The Hawai'i Marines also killed Thursday in Farah province were: Lance Cpl. James D. Argentine, 22, of Farmingdale, N.Y.; and Sgt. Jay M. Hoskins, 24, of Paris, Texas. Babine was from San Antonio.

Marine Cpl. Christian A. Guzman Rivera, 21, of Homestead, Fla., who also was killed, was out of Okinawa, Japan.

The three riflemen from Kane'ohe Bay were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.

Travis Babine had called his father, Bill Badger, and told him roadside bombs "were a serious problem and it was one of the most difficult things to deal with."

Travis Babine joined the Marines immediately out of high school as part of the delayed entry program and reported to boot camp in January 2008, his mother said.

The deployment to Afghanistan was his first. His parents had served in the Army but Travis Babine had always wanted to be a Marine.

"He wanted to do something really difficult," his mother said. She tried to convince him to go to college first and get a commission. Her son decided college could wait a bit.

"He was convinced that he would make a better officer if he served a tour as an enlisted man," Alice Babine said.

The quiet Marine who was a voracious reader and spent a lot of time involved in gaming and painting miniature models in high school was based at Forward Operating Base Bakwa, one of the westernmost outposts maintained by the 2nd Battalion.

Marine Lance Cpl. Travis T. Babine was killed in action on 8/06/09.

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