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Marine Lance Cpl. Deshon E. Otey

Died June 21, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


24, of Hardin, Ky.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; killed June 21 by hostile fire in Anbar province, Iraq.

Hostile fire kills Marine in Iraq

Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The mother of a 24-year-old Marine from Kentucky killed by hostile fire in Iraq said her son had dreams of one day becoming an FBI agent.

Lance Cpl. Deshon E. Otey, 24, of Radcliff, Ky., was a rifleman assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, which is based at Camp Pendleton, Calif. He was killed Monday in Anbar province, Iraq, officials said Tuesday.

“He told me when he got out (of the Marines) he was going to join the Delta Force,” the Army’s elite fighting unit, Robin Mays, Otey’s mother, said in a phone interview with The Associated Press Tuesday night. “He liked that kind of work. He was a brave soldier, a proud soldier and a loving son.”

The Marine Corps did not provide details about Otey’s death. Mays said she learned of her son’s death on Monday, but was given few details. It was not clear whether Otey was among four U.S. Marines gunned down Monday by insurgents west of Baghdad. Anbar province, which is west of Baghdad, has been a hotbed of insurgent attacks.

Otey’s family moved to Radcliff in Hardin County from Louisville in 1980. He graduated from North Hardin High School in 2001 and joined the Marine Corps in June of that year.

Mays said Otey survived a violent firefight in Fallujah in April.

Otey was smallish — only about 5 feet, 5 inches tall — but he was known for his toughness on the football field in high school, Mays said.

“A lot of people looked up to him,” she said.

Otey was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, according to a statement from the Marine Corps.


Family, friends bid farewell to Marine killed in Iraq

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. — Lance Cpl. DeShon Otey died fulfilling his lifelong mission, friends and family said on Saturday at the Marine’s funeral.

“He never wanted to be anything but a Marine,” said his mother, Robin Mays.

Otey, 24, of Radcliff, was a rifleman with the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 21st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Pendelton, Calif. He was killed June 21 by hostile fire in Iraq’s Anbar province.

Family and friends who attended the funeral filled every row of the First Baptist Church in Elizabethtown.

Otey’s friend, Cpl. Ian McCall, said he met Otey in boot camp and the two remained close until McCall was sent home from Iraq, just before Otey’s death.

“We did everything together,” McCall, of Atlanta, said at the funeral service. “On June 21, I lost a part of me.”

Otey and McCall could finish each other’s sentences or sit in silence for hours, just enjoying each other’s company, he said.

“He was a friend, a brother and a teacher, and you just don’t meet people like that every day walking down the street,” he said.

Otey joined the Marines in 2001 and was deployed to Iraq in February.

The Rev. B.T. Bishop said during a eulogy that Otey loved his job and joked that Otey was born screaming about becoming a Marine.

Otey’s mother said she was glad she had the chance to tell her son she loved him by phone just days before he died.

“I’m sad, but I feel good because I know my son’s a hero,” she said.

Otey was buried with full military honors at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.

— Associated Press

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