Marines mourn fallen from 2nd LAR

18 Jul 2004 | Sgt. Jose E. Guillen

A memorial service was held July 18 to honor four fallen Marines from 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion's Company D, attached to Regimental Combat Team 1 in the Al Anbar Province, Iraq.

The four were killed by an improvised explosive device during a vehicle-mounted patrol July 6.  The four were Cpl. Jeffrey D. Lawrence, Lance Cpls. Scott E. Dougherty and Justin T. Hunt and Pfc. Rodricka A. Youmans.

Dougherty was quoted in a memorial-service leaflet in a letter to his father before the deployment.  He said simply, "If the opportunity arises again, I'd sign up again - in a heartbeat."

He was 20, from Bradenton, Fla., and is survived by his parents Keith and Debrah Dougherty and his sister, Nicole.

Lawrence's daughter was born just days after his death - July 10.  The 22-year-old from Tuscon, Ariz., is survived by his wife, Celeste L. Lawrence and his daughter, Cadence Freedom Lawrence.

Hunt was a 22-year-old from Tuscon.  He is survived by his wife, Regina Schussler, his parents, Thomas and Debra, and two brothers.  One of those brothers is serving as a Navy hospital corpsman with the 1st Marine Division in Iraq and accompanied Hunt's body back to the United States.

Youmans' father was quoted speaking of his son's dedication to the Corps.

"My son died doing something he loved," said Youmans' father Johnnie, according to the memorial-service leaflet.

Youmans is survived by his parents, Johnnie and Manderlene and his two children A'Miyah and Mekhi, who live with their mother, Stephanie Cuthbetson.

Capt. Ladd W. Shepard, commanding officer for Company D, offered his words to the Marines gathered to honor the four.  He closed his remarks with a simple line.

"We will truly miss them," he said.