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Battalion honors "no better friend" killed in action

15 May 2004 | Cpl. Paula M. Fitzgerald

Lance Cpl. Jeremiah E. Savage, gunner with 81 mm Mortar Platoon, Mobile Assault Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, couldn't wait to get home to meet his newborn son.However, at the age of 21, he was struck down by an improvised explosive device May 12 during a routine patrol through the streets of Ramadi.Marines from his unit gathered here May 15 to pay homage to the Livingston, Tenn., leatherneck during an afternoon memorial ceremony. "On Wednesday afternoon, Lance Corporal Savage was doing the very thing we came here to do: help Iraq," said Capt. Robert S. Weiler, company commander. "We had just visited a water treatment plant so that the people there could get more than one hour of drinking water a day. Then we handed out Frisbees and soccer balls to the children and put smiles on their faces, which was something Savage loved to do."Weiler said Savage, father of five, was the epitome of the 1st Marine Division's "no better friend, no worse enemy" motto."He showed the people he could be no better friend," said Weiler, of Woodbridge, Va. "He also showed he could be no worse enemy."During five intense street fights April 6, 7 and 10, Savage proved his mettle. He helped his platoon quell violence between Marines from 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment and anti-Coalition fighters."He was a warrior and a humanitarian," Weiler explained. "And he was our brother. He is a Marine that wears the Eagle, Globe and Anchor proudly."Savage's best friend, 22-year-old Lance Cpl. David R. Dahl, met him more than three years ago at boot camp."He was a brother to me," Dahl, from Ocala, Fla., said choking back the tears. "He cared about everybody. He had the biggest heart of anyone I know."Dahl said Savage, an experienced mechanic, had several passions."He loved his family and kids more than anything," he said. "He also liked working on cars. He liked muscle cars a lot."Savage was planning to return to Tennessee following his time in the Marine Corps. He wanted to pursue a career as a professional mechanic.He is survived by his college sweetheart Cassandra and their five children: Jaydeen, Keyera, Madison, Eva and Eldin."I recently spoke to his wife, and she said their son Jaydeen took the news of his dad's death harshly," Dahl said. "But then he got up and went to school that day and told everyone that he was proud of his dad because he was a hero. That's how I want you all to remember him - as a hero."