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Marine Lance Cpl. Manuel A. Ceniceros

Died June 26, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


23, of Santa Ana, Calif.; assigned to Regimental Combat Team 1 Headquarters Company, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; killed June 26 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

Camp Pendleton Marine killed in Iraq

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A Camp Pendleton-based Marine from Santa Ana died over the weekend in a skirmish in Iraq, officials said Monday.

Lance Cpl. Manuel A. Ceniceros, 23, died in Anbar province, a spokesman at Camp Pendleton said.

Ceniceros, who enlisted in January 2000, was a rifleman assigned to Headquarters Company, 1st Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force.

Ceniceros’ personal awards included a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

No further information was immediately available.


Wife remembers Marine husband killed in Iraq

LOS ANGELES — Lance Cpl. Manuel A. Ceniceros was proud to serve as an infantryman on the front lines in Iraq, his family said.

“He said it’s the best thing you can be in the military. He’d say, ‘We’re not there to push papers. We’re actually there to help and fight,’ ” his wife, Elizabeth Ceniceros, 23, told the Los Angeles Times.

Manuel Ceniceros, 23, died June 26 while fighting in Iraq’s Anbar province, officials said. He had been assigned to Headquarters Company, 1st Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Ceniceros, a longtime Santa Ana resident, joined the Marines in January 2000 and distinguished himself as a rifleman, his family said. For Ceniceros, an only child and painfully shy as a teenager, the military boosted his confidence and served as a second family after his father died.

“My husband, for most of his life, had never felt like he owned anything or stood for anything, because he was so quiet and so shy,” Elizabeth Ceniceros said. “When he was in high school, he wasn’t known for anything at all. But when he became a Marine, it was like he owned that.”

He lived with his wife and her family in East Los Angeles before heading to Iraq in February. He hoped to buy a home when he returned and pay for a formal wedding, which the couple hadn’t been able to afford when they married in December 2002.

Looking ahead, he thought of settling down in Santa Ana, starting a family and going to work for the police department, his wife said.

Ceniceros’ personal awards included a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Ceniceros also is survived by his mother, Angela De La Cruz, his aunt, Stella Gallegos, and several cousins.

— Associated Press

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