Staff Sgt. Raymond Plouhar was in the Marine Corps for 10 years. He was portrayed as an overzealous recruiter in the documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11," and later he served as a sniper in Iraq. He was killed on June 26 by a roadside bomb in Anbar province and buried in Michigan on July 6.
Friends describe Plouhar as a soft-hearted Marine who handed out candy to kids in Iraq. He was a warrior who wrote poetry about life and death.
Plouhar's military funeral was held at Lake Orion High School, near his family's home in Michigan. His father, Raymond, said, "He was gung-ho from the time he signed his name until the day he died."
Leigha, his high school sweetheart, wife and, now, widow, said in my head, he was indestructible and nothing could ever happen to him because he was so good at what he did." Plouhar kept a photo of Leigha and their two sons, Raymond, 9, and Michael, 5, tucked inside a bible when he was in Iraq.
"He didn't like turmoil," recalled his mother, Cynthia. "He wanted everybody to be happy, to get along... He'd say 'Life's too short to sweat the small stuff.'"
Plouhar's appearance as a recruiter in Michael Moore's anti-war "Fahrenheit 9/11" made him known beyond his hometown. His funeral was attended by members of the Patriot Guard Ed Marcot, of Montrose, Mich., and Paddy Bamrick, of Port Huron, Mich.
Plouhar's father keeps a poster with his son's poem "This Is Me" on it. It reads, in part, "I will leave my loved ones, my kids, my wife... Do not feel pity for me, for this is my choice... This is me. This is who I am. I am a Marine to the very end."