9 Marines Killed In Iraq Identified

GENERIC: Marines, U.S., Iraq, Dead, Anbar Province
The Department of Defense on Thursday identified nine Marines who have been killed in combat in the Al Anbar province in western Iraq over the last week.

Two of the Marines — Cpl. Derek Jones and Lance Cpl. Jeremy Sandvick Monroe — were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. They died on Oct. 8 from what the military called "wounds received while conducting combat operations." Jones was a 21-year old from Salem, Ore. Monroe, from Chinook, Mont., was 20.

Capt. Robert M. Secher, who also died on Oct. 8, was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, out of Okinawa, Japan.

Six of the Marines served with units of the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Sgt. Julian M. Arechaga, 23, of Oceanside, N.Y.; Lance Cpl. Jon E. Bowman, 21, of Dubach, La.; and Pfc. Shelby J. Feniello, 25, of Connellsville, Pa., all died Monday in Anbar province. All three were assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Division.

Bowman's and Feniello's families said they were told the men died when their vehicle drove over a roadside bomb or "improvised explosive device."

"They told us he had been manning a .50-caliber machine gun in a Humvee when it was hit by an IED," said Jill Puckett, Bowman's mother.

Bowman joined the Marine Corps immediately after he graduated from Summerfield High School a little more than two years ago, she said.

Feniello's family said the men were rushing to the aid of Marines involved in a gun battle with insurgents near Ramadi when the vehicle was hit.

"They just went down the wrong road," said his father, Richard Feniello.

Feniello joined the Marines shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He began his second tour of duty in Iraq a month ago after an 11-month leave, his father said.

Cpl. Bradford H. Payne, 24, of Montgomery, Ala., and Lance Cpl. John E. Hale, 20, of Shreveport, La., were killed Oct. 6 during combat in the same region, the Pentagon said. Both belonged to 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Division.

Funeral services for Payne are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Vaughn Forest Baptist Church in Montgomery. Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Leak-Memory Chapel. Payne is survived by his wife, Erin Payne, and his parents, W. Howard and Carol Payne of Pike Road.

Another member of the unit, Lance Cpl. Stephen F. Johnson, 20, of Marietta, Ga., died in combat on Sunday.

Payne and Hale's families said they, too, were told the men had been killed by a roadside bomb.

Payne's parents said the only solace in their son's death is knowing he was killed while living his dream.

"He pretty much shot for (the Marines) in the sixth grade," Howard Payne said. "That's what he wanted to do."

Hale's military career, like Feniello's, was inspired by the 2001 terrorist attacks. He graduated from high school in 2005.

"He was very moved when 9-11 happened, and that was when he made up his mind to join the Marines," his sister, Paula Moreno, said.

In other developments:
  • Britain's army commandersaid that the country's military is making the situation worse in Iraq and must leave the country soon, according to media reports Thursday. Gen. Richard Dannatt said "our presence exacerbates the security problems," the British Broadcasting Corp. and Sky News television reported. Both stations were citing an interview in the Daily Mail newspaper.
  • Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, the chief U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, said that since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan about two weeks ago, attacks in Baghdad have been up 15 percent. Ramadan "historically has been a period of increased violence," he said. "We assume it will still get worse before it gets better — we expect violence to continue to increase over the next two weeks until the end of Ramadan."