Posted : Wednesday Mar 25, 2009 14:04:10 EDT
Two North Carolina-based Marines died Sunday while supporting combat operations in Afghanistan, according to the Defense Department.
Cpls. Anthony L. Williams, 21, of Oxford, Pa., and Michael W. Ouellette, 28, of Manchester, N.H., died in Helmand province. They were assigned to Camp Lejeune’s 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines. Both Marines were veterans of the Iraq war, according to a 2nd Marine Division release.
Williams, a combat engineer, joined the Corps June 12, 2006, fulfilling a lifelong dream, according to his high school principal.
“What stuck for me was that [the Corps] seemed to be a passion for him,” David Madden, Oxford High principal, told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “He knew this is what he wanted to do. Nothing he ever said stays in my mind; it was what he did. I see kids say they will join the Marines and don’t do it. He said he was going to join, and he did. He followed through with his plan.”
Williams was a “hardworking small-town guy who carried himself in a dignified manner. … I find it difficult to accept the fact that he’s gone. It’s a tough thing,” Madden said.
Ouellette, an infantryman, made an appearance at his old high school before joining the Corps on June 15, 2005. During his visit, he told classmates, teachers and administrators he was going to join, Memorial High School principal Arthur Adamakos told New Hampshire television station WMUR 9.
“He was a great person, Mike. He’ll be missed by all his friends and the teachers he had here at Memorial,” Adamakos said, adding that Ouellette was a jovial student who talked to everyone.
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