Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Elia P. Fontecchio

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Elia P. Fontecchio, 30, of Milford, Mass.

GSgt Fontecchio was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.; died Aug. 4 of injuries sustained in enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

When Elia P. Fontecchio returned from his first tour of duty in Iraq, he spent days figuring out how to break the news to his wife that he would be going back. When it came to his 2-year-old son, he felt there was no way to explain.

"You don't at that age. You just do what you can," he told The Associated Press in an interview in December. "Mommy bears the brunt of it."

The 30-year-old from Milford, Mass., was killed in Iraq's Anbar province on Aug. 4, two weeks before he was due to return home.

He was based at Twentynine Palms, Calif. Fontecchio's first tour gave him confidence as he approached his second departure.

"I'm very familiar with the territory and the culture now. We know some of the mistakes ... and we know how to handle them now," he said.

"He was the model Marine, the model person, the model husband, the model father," his uncle Dana Fontecchio said.

Survivors include his wife, Kinney, and son, Elia Jr.

— Associated Press

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Elia P. Fontecchio was killed in action on 08/04/04.

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