Friday, December 24, 2010

Marine Lance Cpl. Kenneth A. Corzine

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Kenneth A. Corzine, 23, of Bethalto, Ill.

LCpl. Corzine was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died Dec. 24, 2010 of wounds sustained Dec. 5 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

December 15, 2010

Marine Lance Cpl. Kenny Corzine, who lost both legs last week in an IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan, returned to the United States and is in good spirits, his family says. "Kenny is in as good a shape as can be expected," said Jim Corzine of Roxana, Kenny's uncle. "He is pretty upbeat and has been making jokes."

Kenny Corzine, who had been serving overseas in Afghanistan for the last several months, was part of a nine-man patrol, consisting of eight soldiers and one medic, when an IED explosion on Dec. 5 abruptly changed his life.

"From what I understand, the patrol came under fire and took cover behind a rock," Jim Corzine said. "When they did, (insurgents) detonated the IED. I believe four in his unit were KIA (killed in action), and three others are in very serious condition, with one soldier losing his face.

"I am very grateful to the medic that was with them; he kept the Marines alive who were not killed. The medics that serve are amazing people."

Kenny was transported to a U.S. military hospital in Germany to recover. Along with losing both legs, his arm also was "degloved," or stripped of tissue. Jim Corzine says the latest update on the arm is a good one, and doctors are confident they will be able to save it. Last Thursday, Kenny was transported from Germany to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. Most of his family from the local area, including his father, Kenny, his mother, Carla, his grandmother, Sharon, and Jim Corzine flew to Maryland to be by his side and show their support.

"I will be here through this week," Jim said. "I have to be home Friday to pick up my son, Blake. He does not know yet about Kenny." Blake Corzine, who grew up with Kenny, currently is in basic training for infantry in the U.S. Army at Fort Benning, Ga. Kenny's brother, Nick Corzine, also is a Marine and has flown to Maryland, as well, to be by his brother's side.

Betty Davis of Hartford, Kenny's grandmother, was not able to travel to Maryland but expressed her love and concern for her grandson. "He is a wonderful young man, as is his brother, Nick," Davis said. "We are grateful he is doing well. I got to spend some time with him before he left for Afghanistan. He had less than a year to go before his out date."

Davis said both of Kenny's parents, Kenny Corzine and Carla Corzine, have been in touch and are working together to support Kenny. "They are both glad to be able to be there for him," Davis said.

Kenny Corzine, 23, grew up in Bethalto and graduated from Civic Memorial High School. Wanting to be a Marine since he was a child, he left for boot camp in 2007 at the age of 20. He also has a 3-year-old daughter, Macy, with his girlfriend, Precious Hart.

The Patriot Guard already has contacted the family and plans to escort Kenny home to Bethalto from the hospital when he is released, a date that is unclear at this point. "We really want to express our gratitude to the Marine Corps, as well as the Patriot Guard, during this trying time for our family," Jim Corzine said.

December 27, 20101

A Metro East family is feeling the painful impact of the war in Afghanistan first hand. Marine Lance Corporal Kenny Corzine, 23, from Bethalto has died. Corzine had been hospitalized after losing both of his legs in an IED attack on December 5.

Corzine was on a walking patrol with other marines early on a Sunday morning when an IED went off. He lost both of his legs and suffered a serious arm injury. Corzine's uncle, Jim Corzine, says Kenny wanted to be a Marine ever since he was a kid.

We first told you about this big military family on December 7. Three other family members besides Kenny are currently serving. Jim's home in Roxanna is all about that military commitment. There are military pictures everywhere, a flag out front that's currently at half staff for Kenny and a space Jim calls the war room. It's a room Jim built for military members who need a place to stay or just relax.

After Kenny was injured, Jim showed us a picture of Kenny outside his home next to a sign asking for prayers. "I've never experienced anything harder than this in my life. And I've been through the ringer both as a police officer and as a father. I've seen about everything that can be done and I've never, ever experienced a hit like this."

Kenny's grandmother, Sharon Collins, added with tears in her eyes, "I have to believe that he's going to make it. I love him with all my heart."

Jim has a message for whoever attacked his nephew: "Our colors still fly. We will never strike our colors and we will never run." Along with the rest of his family, Kenny also has a three-year-old daughter who he and his girlfriend had together. Corzine was being treated at a hospital in Germany.

Marine Lance Cpl. Kenneth A. Corzine was killed in action on 12/24/10.

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