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Iraq-deployed Marines remember Kansas, Oklahoma natives killed in action

24 May 2006 | Sgt. Roe F. Seigle

More than 100 Marines gathered into a makeshift chapel at the forward operating base in the Haditha Dam May 20 to honor two Marines who were killed in action May 14.

The Marines, Lance Cpl. Jose S. MarinDominguez Jr., 22, from Liberal, Kan., and Lance Cpl. Hatak Yuka Keyu M. Yearby, 21, from Lawton, Okla., were both assigned to the Hawaii-based 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

MarinDominguez was a motor transportation operator; Yearby was a warehouse supply clerk.

Both Marines were killed by an improvised explosive device – roadside bombs used by insurgents in Iraq to target coalition and Iraqi Forces.

In a solemn ceremony, the battalion’s Chaplain Navy Lt. Paul S. Tremblay, read eulogies for both MarinDominguez and Yearby.  Several Marines who knew the fallen also spoke of their friends and shared memories of the fallen.   

The Marines were memorialized with a pair of dog tags bearing their names, boots, a rifle and a Kevlar helmet – a military representation of the fallen.  

Of the battalion’s hundreds of Marines and sailors, Lance Cpl. Daniel Dougherty, also from Marietta, Okla., arguably felt Yearby’s loss the hardest.  The 22-year-old grew up with Yearby and attended elementary and high school with him.  He also encouraged him to join the Marine Corps and was present when he signed the enlistment papers. 

“I have known Yearby for 14 years,” said Dougherty.  “I will never forget him and he is still with me.  He will always be with me.” 

Dougherty said he was able to speak with Yearby’s father and plans to visit his mother and father upon return from Iraq in approximately four months. 

“He was the most outgoing Marine I know,” said Dougherty. “He was never in a bad mood no matter how bad the situation was and he always managed to cheer everyone up.” 

Lance Cpl. Antonio Garcia, 22, a native of El Monte, Calif., and one of the battalion’s motor transportation operators (truck drivers), said MarinDominguez, who also served in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, was always “there for the Marines when they needed a friend.” 

Garcia met MarinDominguez shortly after boot camp Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.  He said MarinDominguez had his whole life already planned out.  He wanted to retire from the Marine Corps then open a mechanical repair shop in his hometown. 

“It is hard to accept that Dominguez is gone,” said Garcia.  “We talk about him and all the funny things he would say and do. We are going to remember him for how he lived, not how he died.”

Yearby’s awards include the National Defense Service medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. 

MarinDominguez’s awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

The Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii-based Marine battalion, which deployed to Afghanistan last year in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, arrived in Iraq this March. The unit is scheduled to rotate back to the United States in the Fall.

Email Sgt. Seigle at: seiglemf@gcemnf-wiraq.usmc.mil.