JAZEERA, Iraq (Dec. 12, 2008) --
The family of a slain Iraqi policeman welcomed Marines of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, and Iraqi police into their home in Jazeera, Iraq, Dec. 11.
The Marines and policemen visited the family of Capt. Ali Rezaij, who was killed when an insurgent detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device Nov. 13, to express their gratitude for his service and sacrifice.
Capt. Rezaij responded to the early-morning VBIED report despite getting little rest the night prior when he was assisting an elderly woman to the hospital. At the scene, he cordoned off the area around the device to prevent the loss of innocent lives.
“Capt. Ali (Rezaij) worked very hard into the night and he still performed his duties,” said Lt. Col. Hathim Abdullah, the chief of police at Huriyah police station. “His actions serve as an example for other IPs to live by.”
Upon learning of the death of Capt. Rezaij, Abdullah said he and other officials decided they would not lie to rest Capt. Rezaij’s body until the insurgent who planted and detonated the VBIED was captured.
“For the first time in Ramadi, we caught the person who planted and detonated this IED without the help of Coalition forces,” Abdullah said. “We figured out how to use evidence and the best way to find him and after just five hours, he was captured and detained.”
Rezaij’s father said the family is thankful for the swift capture of the insurgent who murdered his son. And although the family is torn over what happened to their loved one, they expressed their confidence in the professionalism of the Iraqi police.
“My son loved his job and sacrificed his life to help the innocent people of Iraq. The police did a wonderful job of tracking down and capturing the insurgent who did this to my son,” Rezaij said. “These terrorists claim that their enemy is the Coalition forces but they are liars. The truth is that they will target anyone, anywhere; Coalition forces, (Iraqi) police, (Iraqi) army, innocents and even their own people. They must pay for what they have done.”
Marines of Company E ended the visit by presenting the family with gifts including generators, heaters, blankets, toys and soccer balls.
“We want to thank you and the Iraqi police for coming here today to visit with us,” said Rezaij, speaking to Capt. Brian J. O’Shea, the company commander of Company E, 2nd Bn., 9th Marines. “You are welcome at our house any time.”