Fourteen Marine reservists were killed Wednesday by a roadside bomb in Iraq - one of the heaviest blows suffered by a single unit in the war. Two days earlier, five others from the same Ohio-based battalion were killed in an attack north of Baghdad.
Members of 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, based in Brook Park, Ohio, a blue-collar Cleveland suburb with a population of 21,000, were activated in January and went to Iraq in March, according to AP.
The battalion also has units in Columbus, Akron, Moundsville, West Virginia, and Buffalo, New York.
Here are profiles of some of the Marines killed this week.
Lance Cpl. Timothy Michael Bell Jr.
When Lance Cpl. Timothy Michael Bell Jr.'s parents took him to Columbus, Ohio, in January to deploy for training, he had just one message for them, his stepmother said.
"He just said, 'This is what I was born to do,"' Vivian Bell said.
Bell, 22, of West Chester, Ohio, was killed Wednesday in a roadside bombing in Iraq.
Always protective of his three younger sisters, Bell applied that same ethic to joining the military, his father said.
"It's very important for me that everybody knows that he did this for them," Timothy Michael Bell Sr. said.
Cpl. Jeff Boskovitch
Cpl. Jeff Boskovitch set a wedding date - Oct. 14, 2006 - with his fiancee, Shelly Tevis, when they spoke Saturday on the phone.
Days later, the 25-year-old Marine reservist from North Royalton, Ohio, was killed while on sniper duty in Iraq.
An aspiring police officer, Boskovitch was a driven Marine and a role model for his 42 cousins, family members said.
"He had the biggest heart in the world," said his uncle, Dan Boskovitch. ``He was just a great kid."
Sgt. David Coullard
Sgt. David Coullard had been sent around the world since joining the Marines as a reservist about 10 years ago. Still, he was determined to serve in combat.
On Christmas Day, after waiting years for active duty, he told his family that he had volunteered to go to Iraq.
“I personally think he just wanted to be in battle,'' said his stepfather, Greg Dziedzic. "I think he wanted to do what he was trained for."
Coullard, 32, of Glastonbury, Conn., was killed Monday, also while on sniper duty north of Baghdad.
Anita Dziedzic raised her only son as a single mother, and said she felt compelled to do things with him that a father would do. So she took him to target practice, and took a hunting course with him. He had talked about joining the Marines since was 9 years old.
Lance Cpl. Daniel Nathan Deyarmin
Lance Cpl. Daniel Nathan Deyarmin had turned 22 just two days before he was killed Monday.
Deyarmin graduated in 2002 from Tallmadge High School, where he played football, said his sister Erica, 23. He hoped to open a rental property business when he returned from Iraq.
Deyarmin enjoyed racing dirt bikes and four-wheelers through Tallmadge, east of Akron in northeastern Ohio. He also liked to restore cars, his sister said.
“That was his favorite thing to do," she said.
Sgt. Nathaniel Rock
As a part-time police officer, Sgt. Nathaniel Rock displayed integrity and curiosity that would have suited him well in the profession.
Rock, 26, joined the police department across the river from Wheeling, W.Va., about a year ago and planned to continue as a full-time officer when he returned from Iraq.
"I always saved a spot for him," said Barry Carpenter, the police chief in Martins Ferry who described Rock as a talented, proud officer with great potential.
Lance Cpl. Edward Schroeder
Rosemary Palmer wouldn't let her son play with guns when he was little, and she certainly didn't want him involved in the military.
“He was persuaded that if he joined the Marines, he would get a new sense of purpose," said Palmer, who found out Wednesday that her 23-year-old son, Lance Cpl. Edward Schroeder, was among those killed in a roadside explosion.
Schroeder spent his preschool years in China and then finished school in Maplewood, N.J. His family moved to Cleveland after he graduated from high school and started classes at Ohio State University.
“It was always, 'What's out there? Let me try,'" Palmer said. “He wanted to experience life."
We guess how many more innocent soldiers will experience life in war.
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