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Marine Lance Cpl. Nazario Serrano

Died January 30, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


20, of Irving, Texas; assigned to the Combat Service Support Battalion 1, Combat Service Support Group 11, 1st Force Service Support Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; killed Jan. 30 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

Instead of a wedding, Marine’s family plans his funeral

Associated Press

DALLAS — The family of Lance Cpl. Nazario Serrano was expecting to plan for his wedding.

The 20-year-old Marine from the Dallas suburb of Irving was to return from Iraq in two weeks to meet his son, Landon Heath, born four months ago, and marry high-school sweetheart, Amanda Story.

“Instead of planning a wedding, we have to plan a funeral,” said Story, 19.

Serrano was killed Sunday when he was struck by small-arms fire in the chest in Iraq’s Anbar province. The vast province west of Baghdad includes the flashpoint cities of Fallujah and Ramadi.

No other details were released by the Marine Corps.

Serrano had seen photos of his son, but had not met him.

“He saw him only in pictures and on the Internet,” said Serrano’s father, Jesus. “They were just waiting for him to come back. ... He was going to get married and start his life.”

Serrano had proposed to Story on Valentine’s Day and they were hoping for an intimate family wedding when he returned on R&R leave in two weeks.

Serrano was a graduate of Irving High School, where two of his brothers now attend classes, said Principal Carolyn Dowler. A memorial service for the fallen Marine is expected, she said.

He is the second service member from the school to be killed in Iraq. Spc. Josiah Vandertupil, a 2002 graduate, was killed Oct. 14 when his patrol came under fire in Baghdad.

Students are “shocked it’s the second one we’ve had,” said teacher Danielle Keith, who had him in her marketing class club. “It really has affected them — sparked discussions about Bush getting our troops back.”

Serrano was assigned to the Combat Service Support Battalion 1, Combat Service Support Group 11, 1st Force Service Support Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif. He joined the Marines about 18 months ago and had volunteered for duty in Iraq. He spent the last five months working in demolitions and clearing mines.

He has been recommended for the Purple Heart.

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