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Marine Pfc. Bufford K. Van Slyke

Died February 28, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


22, of Bay City, Mich.; assigned to Marine Forces Reserve’s 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Saginaw, Mich.; died Feb. 28 while conducting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq.

Bay City Marine dies in Iraq

The Associated Press

BAY CITY, Mich. — A Marine from Bay City was shot and killed at a checkpoint in Iraq, his mother said.

Pfc. Bufford “Kenny” VanSlyke, 22, was slain Feb. 27 in Fallujah, said his mother Cindy L. Fisher, 44, of Bay City.

“Kenny did the checkpoints, and he had all his gear on, but [a shot] went right through his armor,” Fisher told The Bay City Times for a story March 1.

“He was my hero. He was so young, and his wife just had a baby, and he’ll never get to see him again,” she said.

Along with his mother, father and two stepparents, VanSlyke leaves behind a wife, Kortni, and the couple’s 4-month-old son, Kaiden, in Bay City.


Slain Marine from Bay City would laugh in adversity

The Associated Press

BAY CITY, Mich. — A Marine who died after being shot at a checkpoint in Iraq would laugh even in adversity, but feared he wouldn’t return to see his family, his mother said.

Pfc. Bufford “Kenny” VanSlyke, 22, died this week while conducting combat operations in Anbar province, the Defense Department said.

“He always had that smile on his face, and it could brighten up a room,” his mother, Cindy L. Fisher, 44, of Bay City, told The Bay City Times.

VanSlyke arrived in Iraq in mid-December. Along with his mother, father and two stepparents, VanSlyke leaves behind a wife, Kortni, and the couple’s 4-month-old son, Kaiden, in Bay City.

“His biggest fear was that he wouldn’t be able to come home and see his family,” Fisher said. “He loved that baby so much. Kenny’s face just lit up when he talked to that baby, and that baby’s face would light up, too.”

VanSlyke was assigned to the Marine Forces Reserve’s 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, based in Saginaw.

Maj. Shannon Wiley told the Detroit Free Press that VanSlyke was with the “follow-along” group of Marines belonging to the Michigan-based 1/24th headquartered at Selfridge Air National Guard Base who were in training when the other men of the unit went to Iraq in the fall.

VanSlyke previously worked as an electrician and construction worker. He also refereed youth football games in the Bay City area, and his family said he was looking forward to refereeing again.

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