Sunday, November 28, 2004

Marine Lance Cpl. Adam R. Brooks

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Adam R. Brooks, 20, of Manchester, New Hampshire.

Lance Cpl Brooks died as a result of enemy action in Babil Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Associated Press

MANCHESTER, N.H. — A Marine from New Hampshire has died in Iraq after a bomb exploded near his Humvee, the Department of Defense said.

Rose Marois said her son, Lance Cpl. Adam Brooks, 20, was killed Sunday while he was on patrol in Baghdad. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Brooks was a newlywed and a 2003 graduate of Central High School, joining the military right after graduation.

“He wanted to further his education that way. He had all kinds of plans,” his mother said.

Marois said her son was expected home in February and wanted to become a state trooper.

“It’s awful,” she said. “Your kids aren’t supposed to die before you do.”

Brooks and his wife, Ashley, were married over Memorial Day weekend, knowing he was headed to Iraq.

“They married so that when he was in battle, he’d have something to hold onto,” said Fatima Deek, a close friend of the couple.

Those who knew Brooks at Central High School recalled his love for the Marine Corps and his enthusiasm for joining the service.

“The minute he decided what he wanted to do, there wasn’t any stopping him,” said Joy Canny, a support professional at Central.

Brooks was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force. He died in Iraq’s Babil province.

He was one of eight service members from the base killed in recent fighting in Iraq.

Marine Lance Cpl. Adam R. Brooks was killed in action on 11/28/04.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Marine Lance Cpl. Demarkus D. Brown

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Demarkus D. Brown, 22, of Martinsville, Va.

LCpl Brown was assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; killed Nov. 19, 2004 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

Marine killed in Iraq was ‘outstanding young man’
By Tom Patterson
Martinsville Bulletin / Associated Press

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Lance Cpl. Demarkus D. Brown will be remembered as always having a smile on his face and proud of his service to his country.

And, of course, as “Chicken.”

Brown, 22, who was killed Nov. 19 while serving in Iraq’s Anbar province, earned his nickname as a two-sport athlete at the former Laurel Park High School, according to his wrestling coach, Curtis Gore.

“I gave him the nickname his first practice in the ninth grade,” Gore said. “Everything he did, he would just flop around like a chicken with his head cut off.”

Some people might have tried to shrug off the name, but Brown added it to his trademark grin to form an immutable identity.

“I recall that when he first introduced himself he referred to himself by his nickname, ‘Chicken.’ We would kid about that,” said former Laurel Park Principal Ben Gravely.

“No one will ever forget that he was ‘Chicken,”’ said former Laurel Park Booster Club President Ardys Winslow. “I had to look up in an annual to find out that he was Demarkus Brown.”

But Brown’s actions, not his nickname, are what people remember most about him.

“He was always a person you could turn to to make a gray day bright. He was an outstanding young man — someone you could count on,” Winslow said.

Winslow and Frank Scott, Brown’s former track coach at Laurel Park, said Brown was the type of man any mother and father would be proud to call their son.

“First of all, I’m devastated. He’s one of the finest student-athletes I had the opportunity to coach,” Scott said.

“He always wanted to please you. He’d take on any event or any challenge. Even though he was short, he took on distance running where he had to work extra hard. I can see him right now hitting the last turn on a final lap running hard to the finish. That’s the type of kid he was,” Scott said.

His inauspicious start in wrestling aside, Brown blossomed into a crowd favorite by his senior year, Gore said.

“He could constantly roll people” whenever he was on his back, Gore said, and the crowd would cheer for him to do it.

Brown also won the Ironman Wrestling Tournament his senior year, which is one of the more prestigious awards in the area, he added.

“He came out of nowhere and beat everybody,” Gore said.

Brown enlisted in the Marines after graduating from Laurel Park in 2000, and was enthusiastic about his chosen profession.

“I saw him right before he enlisted. He was very excited about joining the military,” Scott said.

“It was something he was proud to do. He always gave it his all,” Winslow said. “ ... This makes this war even more a reality. It hits our community — it hits our home. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, we were a village at Laurel Park. It’s a great loss.”

Local Marine recruiter Sgt. Kathy Perdue said Brown was the epitome of what a Marine is and loved his job.

“He chose to be in the infantry,” Perdue said. “I talked to him two weeks ago because he requested to come home to do recruiter’s assistance. He was in good spirits. He was glad to have been over there but was ready to come home.”

Brown previously had worked with Perdue as a recruiter’s assistant, she said, and he always came by the recruiter’s office when he was home.

Being a recruiter’s assistant was “a way for him to stay at home longer and talk about being a Marine,” Perdue said. “He enjoyed talking about the Marines. He came in quite often on the weekends to help me any way that he could.

“He’s definitely going to be missed,” she added. “He was the type of person you wanted to be around. He was very positive, never sad and had a great smile. He will be missed by friends, family and the Marine Corps.”

Hundreds honor Martinsville native slain in Iraq

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Hundreds of friends, relatives and former classmates turned out Sunday to remember Lance Cpl. Demarkus Brown.

“He brought hope, loyalty and friendship to all who knew him,” the Rev. William Lowery said at Brown’s funeral at Greater International Pentecostal Holiness Church. “To Lance Corporal Demarkus Brown, I say, ‘Semper Fi.”’

A machine gunner with the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Brown, 22, was killed Nov. 19 as the result of enemy action in Iraq’s Anbar province, according to the Department of Defense. Anbar province includes the city of Fallujah, where more than 100 American soldiers have been killed in fighting since the beginning of November.

At a graveside service, a military honor guard presented Chynita Belcher with the two Purple Hearts awarded to her son posthumously for combat wounds suffered the day he died.

Brown was remembered by his coaches and teachers at Laurel Park High School, where he wrestled, ran track and cross country, played football and participated in the ROTC program before graduating in 2000.

“He always wanted to please you. He’d take on any event or any challenge. Even though he was short, he took on distance running where he had to work extra hard,” said Brown’s track coach, Frank Scott. “I can see him right now hitting the last turn on a final lap running hard to the finish. That’s the type of kid he was.”

Brown was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., before being deployed to Iraq in June. Family members said they feared for his safety when he left, but at his going-away party, they recalled Brown was calm and eager to serve his country.

His other medals included the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

“He was such an inspiration to people,” said Ardys Winslow, Laurel Park High’s former booster club president. “Demarkus will be remembered for his love, laughter and great personality.”

Marine Lance Cpl. Demarkus D. Brown was killed in action on 11/19/04.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Marine Lance Cpl. Shane E. Kielion

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Shane E. Kielion, 23, of La Vista, Nebraska

Lance Cpl. Kielion was assigned 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.; killed Nov. 15, 2004 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

Marine killed in Iraq just hours after son's birth
OMAHA (AP) — Marine Lance Cpl. Shane Kielion was killed in action in Iraq not knowing that his first child had been born just hours before.

April Kielion, the Marine's widow and high school sweetheart, gave birth to a boy in Omaha on Monday, said Kielion's old high school football coach, Jay Ball.

"She's hanging in there," Ball said. "She's a strong woman. She's got a terrific family and lots of supportive friends."

The baby was named Shane Kielion Jr., said April Kielion's father, Don Armstrong. He said his daughter was "doing as well as to be expected under the pressure."

Shane Kielion, a rifleman in the 1st Marine Division of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, was killed Monday in Al Anbar Province, the military said.

Officials at Camp Pendleton, Calif., where he was stationed, refused to comment on how he was killed. Anbar Province includes Fallujah — which American forces now control after a lengthy offensive — as well as other guerrilla strongholds.

The family is numb, said Ball. "It's time for them to do some healing," Ball said.

Kielion joined the Marines on Dec. 3, 2002, and this was his second tour in Iraq.

Ball said Kielion had come home to visit in August, and bragged about his family.

"He was excited about his baby on the way and he always told me how beautiful his wife was," Ball told KMTV News in Omaha.

He started at quarterback for Omaha South High School in 1997 and 1998. He went to Peru State College for a short time on a football scholarship, but when that didn't work out he returned to Omaha to work and joined the Marines, Ball said.

"He wanted to improve his life for his family," Ball said.

Students shower slain Marine’s son with gifts

OMAHA, Neb. — The children at St. Bernadette School last Christmas held a baby shower for the baby Jesus. This Christmas, it was a shower for another baby.

The students decided this year to focus their attention on Shane Edward Kielion Jr. —born Nov. 15, the same day hisMarine father, Shane Kielion Sr., was killed in Iraq.

On Monday, the baby’s grandfather, Roger Kielion, drove his Jeep up to the doors of St. Bernadette to receive the gifts for his first grandchild.

“I was amazed at how much the students had collected,” he said, filling the entire back seat and cargo area of the vehicle with gifts.

The gifts included disposable diapers, baby wipes, baby clothing, blankets, bedding, gift cards and certificates and more than $700, said school counselor Linda Reese, who well understands losing a loved one in war. Her brother was killed in the Korean War.

The infant’s mother, April Kielion, was equally appreciative of the children’s efforts.

“So much has happened that I’m not celebrating Christmas this year,” she said, “but my son is because of so many people.”

The Kielion family has received gifts from strangers around the country who heard of their loss, but local efforts have been especially touching, the Kielions said.

“The St. Bernadette children had so many questions about the baby that I’m planning to bring him and his mother to visit early next year,” Roger Kielion said.

— Associated Press

Marine Lance Cpl. Shane E. Kielion was killed in action on 11/15/04.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Marine Lance Cpl. Justin M. Ellsworth

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Justin M. Ellsworth, 20, of Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

Lance Cpl Ellsworth died as a result of enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to Combat Service Support Battalion 1, Combat Service Support Group 11, 1st Force Service Support Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.

Ellsworth grew up in Wixom and Mount Pleasant, where he has relatives.

John Ellsworth said his son's life was "fun-filled and adventurous." "He was always up to a challenge," his father said. "He wasn't afraid to try something to see if he could do it. He was a wonderful son and brother.

"He will be a hero to the thousands of lives he touched on this earth."

Justin Ellsworth had always wanted to be a Marine, his father said, and arranged to join the Marine Corps before he graduated from Mount Pleasant High School in June 2003. Shortly after graduation he enlisted.

Ellsworth was assigned to Combat Service Support Battalion of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

In recent weeks, Ellsworth, who was trained in handling explosives, was part of a reconnaissance force that helped to evacuate civilians from Fallujah, his father said. "He was going into the night with a group of other soldiers to (rescue civilians)," said his father.

"He was actually saying lives. He would say he could see the look on their faces (that they were relieved to see them). That made me very proud."

The last time John Ellsworth talked with his son was on Nov. 3 when Justin Ellsworth called him on a telephone.

"He called to say `Dad I love you,'" his father said.

Besides his father, the Marine is survived by mother Tracy; who lives in Colorado, his step-mother Deborah and three brothers and a sister.

Marine Lance Cpl Justin M. Ellsworth was killed in action on 11/13/04.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Army 1st Lt. Edward D. Iwan

Remember Our Heroes

Army 1st Lt. Edward D. Iwan, 28, of Albion, Neb.

Lt. Iwan was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, Vilseck, Germany; killed Nov. 12 when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Fallujah, Iraq.

TheOmahaChannel -- ALBION, Neb. --

The Albion native and 28-year-old Army chaplain died Friday when his Bradley vehicle was hit by a rocket propelled grenade in the battle for Fallujah.

Iwan's parents, Donna and Kenneth Iwan, said that as a young leader in Future Farmers of America, he talked them into raising sheep. It was a whole new lifestyle for the family, but it was something Edward really wanted to do.

After high school, Iwan joined the Army, then went to college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and joined the ROTC program. He graduated with a degree in criminal justice.

To show how optimistic Iwan was, he asked his parents to send seeds to Iraq so he could grow a garden in the middle of a war zone.

"He always wanted to see if things would grow in the desert," Kenneth Iwan said.

"This child was a gift," said Donna Iwan. "You'd always (want to) keep your gifts longer but the days were good."

Edward Iwan saw the military as a career, and after serving as an enlisted man he earned a college degree and returned to Army life as a commissioned officer.

"It was a service and dedication thing to him," said his mother, Donna Iwan. "He felt there were people in need, who needed to be helped."

Iwan, 28, of Albion, Neb., died when a grenade struck his vehicle on Nov. 12. He was stationed in Germany.

Iwan had joined the Army after graduating from high school in 1994. He served three years as an enlisted man and then studied criminal justice at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After graduation, he rejoined the Army in December 2001 as a 2nd Lieutenant.

Iwan, who previously served in Kosovo, felt the army's goals were essentially humanitarian -- to ensure safety and peace, Donna Iwan said.

"He believed in the career of a soldier in protection and peace -- protection of the weak," she said.

Army 1st Lt. Edward D. Iwan was killed in action on 11/12/04.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Marine Sgt. Lonny D. Wells

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Sgt Lonny D. Wells, 29, of Vandergrift, Pennsylvania.

Sgt Wells died as a result of enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Sgt Wells had been in the Marine Corps for eight years and served in Kosovo, France, Spain and Germany, said his mother, Yvonne Lynn Wells. He had been in Iraq since June and was scheduled to come home in January, his family said.

Wells’ wife, Jennifer, and the couple’s 7-month-old daughter, Jade, live at the Marine base in Camp Lejeune, N.C., his family said. The 1994 graduate of Kiski Area High School also had three children — Marissa, Lonny Jr. and Daylon — from a previous marriage who live in Apollo, his mother said.

“He was a great father,” Yvonne Lynn Wells told the Valley News Dispatch of Tarentum. “He would do anything for his kids.”

His mother remembered her son as a man who loved the Dallas Cowboys, sang Kenny Rogers songs in the car and loved the Marines.

“He was committed,” she said. “He was all-military.”

Marine Sgt Lonny D. Wells was killed in action on 11/09/04.