Da Grunt's Support Team!

By: A Jarheads Dad

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Thursday, 1-Dec-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
2-2 Easy Zaidon 11-14-05

Photo #1
Photo #2
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Since I'm so far behind I'll just throw all of these in the same site! There are a few Marines not identified so if y'all recognize them pass it on!!

Also, I am updating LCpl Schiavoni, LCpl Troyer, and Sgt Hodshire's pages. -JHD

A US Marine from Echo company 2nd Battalion 2nd Marine Regiment searches a shed during a foot patrol on the fourth day of an operation in the Zaidon area of Al-Anbar province, southeast of Fallujah. (AFP/David Furst) ***

US Marine, CPL Jacob Brinson(R) and LCPL Derrick Lee(L), from Echo Company 2nd Battalion 2nd Marine Regiment, prepare battle plans for an upcoming patrol as their unit holds their position in a an occupied Iraqi building for the fourth day of an operation in the Zaidon area of Al-Anbar province, southeast of Fallujah. (AFP/David Furst) #1

US Marine, CPL Justin Laramie, from Echo company 2nd Battalion 2nd Marine Regiment, loads the magazine of his pistol as his unit holds their position in a an occupied Iraqi building for the fourth day of an operation in the Zaidon area of Al-Anbar province, southeast of Fallujah. (AFP/David Furst) #2


David Furst / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images

A Marine from Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment holds up a mortar upon which he wrote “hello from the USA,” moments before firing from his position beside a private house his unit had occupied days earlier in Zaidon, Iraq, on Wednesday. #3

Marines from Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment fire a mortar at enemy positions in Zaidon, Iraq, not far from Fallujah, on Wednesday. #4

Marines from Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment walk two men up a staircase after detaining them at a snap checkpoint in Zaidon, Iraq, on Wednesday. #5

A Marine from Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment prepares to use a kefiyeh as a blindfold an Iraqi detainee at a checkpoint in Zaidon, Iraq., on Wednesday. #6

Marine Lance Cpl. Mark Haught of Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, does a morning shave on his sleeping bag as his unit holds their position in a an occupied Iraqi building for the fourth day of an operation in the Zaidon area of Anbar province, southeast of Fallujah, Iraq, on Thursday #7

ZAIDON, Iraq - A Marine with 1st Platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment stands guard over a local Iraqi awaiting questioning Nov. 14. Photo by: Lance Cpl. Samuel D. Corum #8

Wednesday, 23-Nov-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Donald W. Keller, Sr.

DWK, Sr.
Taking Papa home!
Pampa and Granddaughter Averi
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I would like to take a minute to make this post on the passing of my Papa and Kris' Pampa. I promised to do so and give Kris the opportunity to view the obituary and pictures. God Speed Corporal. We will celebrate his life upon your return home! - Dad (I will be adding more pics as time goes along so keep checking back Grunt!)


Beloved Husband, Father, Brother, Uncle, Grandfather and Great-Grandfather passed away November 23, 2005.

Don was born June 9, 1930. A bouncing baby boy was delivered unto Muse W. and Bertha (Miss Bert) Keller of Palmetto, Louisiana. The youngest of four siblings. He passed on to God's Holy Temple at the much too young age of 75. He is survived by his lovley wife Patricia "Strawberry" Keller - Pinson, AL, his four children Charlotte A. Keller - Weston, FL, Donald "Watt" Keller, Jr - Snellville, GA, TSgt David M. Keller USAF - Maxwell AFB Montgomery, AL, and Dawn Moore - Hoover, AL. Don is also survived by his brother Charles M. Keller - Lafayette, LA, sister Geraldine Gravel Dean - Oak Ridge, TN, and sister-in-law Elizabeth Keller formerly of Metarie, LA but due to Hurricane Katrina is now in Memphis, TN. He was preceded by brother Harold Keller - Metarie, LA.

Don's extended family reads of a true legacy to his life and includes the following:
The children of Watt and Janice Keller:
Donald W. (Beau) Keller III - Loganville, GA
Cpl Kristopher G. Keller USMC - Camp Lejeune, NC
Keven C. Keller - LaGrange College, LaGrange, GA
Elizabeth A. Keller - Snellville, GA

The children of David and Stephanie Keller:
Averi Keller - Maxwell AFB, AL
David M. Keller, Jr. - Maxwell AFB, AL

The twin children of Dawn and Steve Moore:
Conner and Lauren Moore - Hoover, AL

Don is also survived by his great-granddaughter Hailey Keller, daughter of Beau and Amanda Keller of Loganville, GA.

Don Keller's hard work, loyalty, and dedication were proven by his reputation in the industry of his employment, mainly firearms sales and distribution. He was a true legend in the industry and spent a large part of his younger career shooting professionally for industry giant Remington Arms. So much so that Don was inducted into the Alabama Skeet Shooting Hall of Fame in this very year of 2005. His previous employers were Turner Lumber Company, Wiss Shears, Savage Arms, Remington Arms, Smith & Wesson, Duncan-Lewis, and recently Tim & Hunter Associates. Spanning decades of service to not only his profession but also to his Chruch, the First Baptist Church of Trussville, AL. He was a strident member of the Gwen Haynes Sunday School Class.

The funeral service was held at The First Baptist Church of Trussville and Don was laid to rest in Blount Memorial Gardens, Oneonta, AL. The service included Gospel song selections performed by The Keller Brothers, nephews of Don's from Louisiana, that included Kenneth Keller, Vernon Keller, John David Keller, and Warren Keller. Funeral services were directed by one of Don's closest and dearest friends, Bill Perry of Usrey Funeral Home, Talladega, AL.

Donald W. Keller, Sr served his Country in the United States Air Force after graduating from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette during the Korean Conflict and although he was accorded the Honor of a military funeral he decided to hold to the family tradition of family and close friends handling the pallbearer duties. The pallbearers were sons Watt Keller and TSgt David Keller, grandson Beau Keller, son-in-law Steven Moore, Jeff Gagner, and close friend Keith Kinghan. Military Services, Rites, and Honors were performed by sons Donald W. Keller, Jr USMM (ret.) and Tech Sgt David M. Keller USAF with special deference noted to Don's grandson Cpl Kris Keller USMC currently stationed Kharma, Iraq per his final request.

Gone But Not Forgotten!
God Speed "Pampa"!

Sunday, 20-Nov-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
LCpl Tyler Troyer

LCpl Tyler J. Troyer
Gone But Not Forgotten!
God Bless you Mrs Thorpe and all your Family!

Mark Ylen / Albany (Ore.) Democrat-Herald / AP Photo

Marine Allen Dabonne presents shell casings to Terri Thorpe during the graveside service for her son, Lance Cpl. Tyler Troyer, at Twin Oaks Memorial Gardens near Albany, Ore., on Wednesday. Troyer was killed in Iraq on Nov. 19. Behind Dabonne is Troyer’s uncle, Oregon National Guard member Fred Felde; Tyler’s sister Brittany Troyer; brother Michael Samard; and fiancee Megan Oswald.


Oregon marine killed in insurgent attack in Iraq

12:00 AM PST on Sunday, November 20, 2005
Associated Press

ALBANY, Ore. -- A 21-year-old marine from Oregon was killed in Iraq Saturday, his family confirmed.

Tyler Troyer, a lance corporal with the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine G Company, was attacked by insurgents on an early morning patrol near Fallujah, his mother told the Democrat Herald newspaper in Albany.

Terri Thorpe, of Tangent, said her son was shot in the head.

Troyer, a 2002 graduate of West Albany High School, enlisted in the marines after graduation to earn money for college. "I had to sign the papers because he wasn't 18," said Thorpe.

She said the yellow ribbon adorning her yard will stay put.

"He gave his life for people that he didn't know," she said. "Whether he was right or wrong, or the war's right or wrong, I can't answer that. I don't expect anyone to understand how I'm feeling. I do expect them to show our guys in Iraq respect," she said.

Troyer is the third West Albany High student to die in Iraq.

"Our school's going to be devastated," said Susie Orsborn, principal of West Albany. "I can't believe we have another one. I just can't believe it."

He was West's only left-handed pitcher and helped lead the team to the playoffs in 2002, the first time in 41 years.

Chad Angel, who coached Troyer for one season, described him as: "Real talkative. Typical left-handed pitcher, you know? A little bit out there at times. Everybody liked him. He was everybody's friend."

He was engaged and planned to get married on the beach in Oregon when he returned early next year.

Thorpe said two marines in dress uniform arrived at her doorstep on Saturday afternoon. "The minute I opened the door, of course, obviously, you know," she said. "I screamed and yelled and fell to the floor, and so did my husband."


Marine from Oregon is slain in Iraq, family learns
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Two Marines in dress green uniforms arrived at Terri Thorpe's door in Albany on Saturday afternoon.

"They didn't have to say anything," Thorpe said. "You just know, when you're military."

Her 21-year-old son, Lance Cpl. Tyler J. Troyer, was killed early Saturday while on patrol near Fallujah, Iraq. He was shot in the head, his mother said.

She last talked to him Nov. 5. As he always did during his brief phone calls from Iraq, he said he was fine. He told his mother she shouldn't worry about him.
His unit had lost four Marines to a roadside bomb about four weeks ago.

"He knew that was a possibility, but he reassured me he was fine every time I talked to him," she said.

Troyer, from Tangent, graduated from West Albany High School in 2002 and immediately joined the Marines. He intended to save money to attend culinary school after the military. At West Albany, he played baseball -- he was the team's only left-handed pitcher -- and enjoyed a wide circle of friends.

Thorpe said she hopes people will remember that many Oregon families have sons and daughters serving in Iraq.

"Some days, there are people out there just waiting by the phone to hear from their loved ones in Iraq," she said. "The days you do are emotional. We got to say 'I love you and be safe, and come home soon.' That's all we do every day.

"You feel angry, lost, empty, sad -- and all those emotions come at you at once," she said.

Troyer had five brothers and sisters. He also is survived by his father, Dave Troyer of Sherwood, and his stepfather, Michael Thorpe of Albany.

Friday, 18-Nov-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
LCpl Steven Szwydek

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Steven's tribute page is 24 Oct 2005 but I wanted to put some pictures from his family on the front page as he did not have that courtesy before. Thank you Lance Corporal of Marines for giving of yourself so we can live in the freedom you protected.

Fair Winds and Following Seas Marine!
I'll see you on the Other Side!
Semper Fidelis!

Thursday, 17-Nov-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
LCpl Nikolas Schiavoni

LCpl Nikolas Schiavoni, his lovely bride Gina, and grandfather
Fair Winds and Following Seas!

Haverhill News
A final goodbye

By Anita Fritz
Staff Writer

HAVERHILL — ''Nicky, I love you and goodbye.''

Vanessa Schiavoni and more than 200 others said a final farewell yesterday to her brother, Marine Lance Cpl. Nickolas Schiavoni, who was laid to rest in his hometown.

''He was my big brother and the world's best hero,'' she said, fighting back tears as her voice cracked at a Mass in St. James Church. ''My big brother Nicky served his country and his family the way a brother, son, father, husband and soldier should.''

Schiavoni, 26, was killed Nov. 15 during an attack by a suicide bomber while serving a second tour of duty in Iraq. He received the Purple Heart after shrapnel lodged in his arm during his first six-month deployment.

Schiavoni's wife, Gina, stood between his mother, Stephany Kern, and his sister at St. James Cemetery, holding tight to the two as prayers were said over his gray casket.

Mourners fell silent while Marines folded three flags — one for Gina Schiavoni, one for Schiavoni's mother and one for his father, David Schiavoni. A gun salute honored the Marine lance corporal and taps was sounded before the crowd dispersed.

Gina Schiavoni unsuccessfully fought back tears behind her dark glasses and placed a red rose on her husband's casket.

The crisp, sunny morning began with mourners paying their respects at the funeral home on Kenoza Avenue. American flags lined the sidewalk — a solemn reminder of why Schiavoni died.

As people left the funeral home for the church, silence cut through the brisk fall air. Only a few sniffles could be heard as the temperature rose to 37 degrees. State and local police escorted the hearse and family limousines to the church. Six Marines carried Schiavoni's casket into St. James; six more stood at the entrance at attention when they passed.

A photograph of Schiavoni in his Marine uniform sat above the casket during the church service, during which ''Amazing Grace'' and ''America'' were sung.

The Haverhill native was the father of Marissa, 4, and Alex, 3. He and his wife lived with their children at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C.

Schiavoni attended Richard Milburne High School, an alternative school that has since closed, and received his diploma from Haverhill High in 1997. He joined the Marines at the age of 20.

Photo - The casket of 26-year-old Lance Corporal Nickolas K. Schiavoni is carried out of St. James Church in Haverhill after his funeral on Saturday morning.


Fallen marine returned to Iraq 'for his country'

By Shawn Boburg
Staff Writer

HAVERHILL — Fresh from a six-month deployment in Iraq during which he won a Purple Heart Medal, a 25-year-old Nickolas Schiavoni sat on the couch in his uncle's Methuen home one year ago and told him of the horrors of war.

"That tour was tough on him," James Schiavoni, a Vietnam veteran. "But the second one was tougher because you don't really want to go, even though you know you have to for yourself and for your country."

Schiavoni, a lance corporal in the Marines and a father of two, was killed in a suicide car bombing Tuesday while on a mission to help another group of soldiers in distress in Al Karmah, on the outskirts of Fallujah.

Schiavoni was the second Marine from Haverhill to be killed in Iraq. Lance Cpl. Dimitrios Gavriel was killed outside Fallujah on Nov. 19, 2004.

Looking for a life path shortly after graduating from Haverhill High in 1997, Schiavoni joined the Marines at age 20. After his first deployment, he volunteered for a second tour, which he was serving when he was killed.

"The kid was scared this time," said his father, David Schiavoni, formerly of Haverhill and now of Ware. "He was burying his friends ... They were getting buried all around him."

He was due to return home in February.

The family plans to hold a funeral service in Haverhill when Schiavoni's body is returned, which should be in about 10 days, family members said. Funeral plans are still incomplete because the family does not know exactly when the military will return the body.

Schiavoni earned a Purple Heart on his first deployment last September when a bomb exploded near him and sent shrapnel into his elbow.

His fatherremembers his son smiling earlier this year and saying nonchalantly: "Hey, dad, I get free license plates for the rest of my life."

"I said, 'Yeah, but you put your life on the line for that,'" he said, breaking into tears. "The poor kid."

Schiavoni lived at Camp Lejeune, N.C., with his wife, Gina Howes Schiavoni, a Haverhill native, and their two children, Marissa, 5, and Alex, 3.

Relatives and friends recalled Schiavoni as a polite and quiet man whose life revolved around his family.

"He was just such a good kid," said his grandfather, David J. Swartz, 74, a local attorney who was elected to the Haverhill City Council last week. "He was a typical young man of that age. He had begun to mature."

Schiavoni's uncle, Christopher Swartz, said he kept a picture of Schiavoni taken on the day he was married tucked in the visor of his car.

"I keep it in my car so I can get a good look at it every time I open my visor," Christopher Swartz said. "He was a wonderful, wonderful boy."

Swartz said he was always close to Schiavoni, but their relationship deepened when Schiavoni came to him for advice about joining the military. Swartz served four years in the military.

Schiavoni had his first child when he was 20, Swartz said, and he was concerned about the best way to provide for his family, a concern that impressed Swartz in such a young father.

Recently, Swartz and his brother-in-law had to coax Schiavoni away from his wife for a men's night out when the family visited Haverhill, Swartz said.

Schiavoni was drawn to the Marines by the quality of education for young children available on military bases as well as by his desire to serve his country, Swartz said.

Schiavoni was always quiet and shy, Swartz said. Those qualities didn't change after he began his Marine training. But he did develop more confidence, a way of looking people in the eye when he shook hands, of speaking to his friends and family, that impressed people who had known him before.

Acting School Superintendent Gerald Quatrale remembered Schiavoni from Whittier Middle School, where Quatrale was the principal during the three years Schiavoni was a student.

"I can still see his face," Quatrale said. "When my secretary told me he had been killed, I immediately got an image of him."

Quatrale said Schiavoni was shy and retiring when he entered the school as a sixth-grader, keeping mainly to a small circle of friends. By the time he finished eighth grade, the boy had "blossomed," Quatrale said, becoming more verbal and involved in school activities.

Schiavoni received a diploma from Haverhill High School upon his graduation from Richard Milburne High School, an alternative school that has since closed.

PHOTO: Marine Lance Cpl. Nickolas Schiavoni stands between his wife, Gina Howes Schiavoni, and grandfather, recently elected City Councilor David J. Swartz. Nickolas Schiavoni was killed by a suicide car bomb in Iraq, leaving behind his wife and two children, Marissa, 5, and Alex, 3

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