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Battalion pauses to honor fallen Darkhorse Marine

7 Jul 2006 | Cpl. Mark Sixbey

Marines from 3rd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment paused to remember a fallen brother at the Habbaniyah Chapel July 7.

Lance Cpl. Rex A. Page, a 21-year-old infantryman from Kirksville, Mo., assigned to L Company was killed in action June 28 in the Al Anbar Province. 

“We lost a Marine, a son and our friend, Lance Corporal Rex Page,” said Lt. Col. Patrick G. Looney, the battalion’s commander.  “I know he was a special breed of American -- and man. And how I know this, is he enlisted in our Corps post-9-11, when our nation was at war.” 

Lance Cpl. Matthew Lawrence Vitt had known Page ever since they met at the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton in 2005.  They’d been in the same fire team since joining the Darkhorse battalion in October, just before the battalion participated in the combined arms training exercise Mojave Viper at Twentynine Palms, Calif.

“He joined to better his life, become a better person and make his family proud,” said the 21-year-old from Sacramento, Calif.  “He did that.”

Every Marine who knew Page described him as a selfless and generous person, Vitt said.

“He’s a positive guy, always looking out for others,” Vitt said.  “He truly was the most unique individual I ever met.  He was the kind of guy who was always happy. The one time I ever saw him upset was when he thought he may have let someone down.” 

Cpl. Wesley Siburg was Page’s squad leader since Page came to the unit.  He recalled a time when he had to assign Page to another squad for a few weeks.

“When it came time to get him back, the other squad wanted to keep him, and give us someone else instead,” said the 25-year-old from Gig Harbor, Wash.  “I guess they saw the same things in him that me and my squad had.” 

Siburg described Page as a hardworking character, always glad to follow orders.

“I’m at a loss for words,” he said. “His team leader and I talked about how you never realized what you have until you lose it.  But, in a way I haven’t lost him, because I know I will remember him forever.”

Page’s awards the Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

“Speaking with Rex’s father a few days ago, Mr. Page said his son was proud to be a member of the ‘Havoc team,’” said Capt. William Allen, the commander of L Company, referring to the unit’s call sign.  “His father assured us that his son will continue to watch over us from his heavenly post.”

“There is little I can say to alleviate the pain and hurt that the Page family, and we the Darkhorse family feel,” Looney said.  “But I can offer that Rex died as a Marine, doing what he chose to do, and doing it exceptionally well. Rest in peace, Marine.”