- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Marine Sgt. Ian M. Tawney
Died October 16, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
25, of Dallas, Ore.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died Oct. 16 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Unit in Sangin loses 9 Marines in 4 days
By Dan Lamothe
Nine Marines with a battalion that recently deployed to Afghanistan were killed during a four-day period last week, putting the Marine Corps on pace for its deadliest month in combat this year.
Third Battalion, 5th Marines, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., suffered the casualties, Pentagon officials said. The unit deployed the last week of September, and is patrolling Sangin, a violent district that the Corps took over from British forces last month. The unit replaced 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, out of Twentynine Palms, Calif., in northern Helmand province.
With two weeks left in October, the Corps has lost 15 Marines and one corpsman in Afghanistan this month. The worst months for Marine deaths this year were June and August, with 17 each. Fifteen were killed in Afghanistan in February, when the Corps launched a major assault on Marjah, a Taliban stronghold and narcotics hub.
The 3/5 casualties in October include:
* Sgt. Ian Tawney, 25. The squad leader was killed Oct. 16 by an improvised explosive device while on a foot patrol, Marine officials said. He enlisted on March 14, 2005, and had deployed to Iraq in 2007.
* Lance Cpl. James Boelk, 24. The infantry rifleman was killed by an IED while on a foot patrol Oct. 15, officials said. He was on his first combat deployment.
* Lance Cpl. Joseph Lopez, 26. The infantry rifleman was killed by an IED while on a foot patrol Oct. 14, officials said. He was on his first combat deployment.
* Lance Cpl. Alec Catherwood, 19. The infantry rifleman was shot to death while on a foot patrol Oct. 14, officials said. He was on his first combat deployment.
* Lance Cpl. Irvin Ceniceros, 21. The machine gunner was shot to death while on a foot patrol Oct. 14, officials said. He was on his first combat deployment.
Four additional Marines were killed Oct. 13 in the same IED blast while riding in a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle, or M-ATV, according to media reports. Those Marines include:
* Cpl. Justin Cain, 22. The machine gunner was on his first combat deployment.
* Lance Cpl. Phillip Vinnedge, 19. The anti-tank assaultman was on his first deployment.
* Lance Cpl. Joseph Rodewald, 21. The machine gunner was on his first combat deployment.
* Pfc. Victor Dew, 20. The anti-tank assaultman was on his first deployment.
Additional details about the deaths were not immediately available, but the Corps said the unit is now based in Sangin in a news release covering the death of Lance Cpl. John Sparks, 23. He was shot to death Oct. 8, becoming the first Marine to die on 3/5’s deployment, Marine officials said.
The most recent Marine casualty announced was Cpl. Jorge Villarreal, 22. A member of Pendleton’s 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, he died Oct. 17 from an IED blast while on a foot patrol.
Marine recalled as the ultimate explorer
By Alyssa Karas
The (Portland) Oregonian via AP
PORTLAND, Ore. — Marine Sgt. Ian M. Tawney always maintained close ties to his roots in the small town of Dallas, but even from an early age, he loved to explore.
Tawney’s strong sense of independence manifested itself when he organized a yearlong trip to Argentina at age 15. And his enthusiasm for life became evident when he returned, spouting fluent Spanish.
“As a very young child, he had a very strong sense of self and was very decisive about what he wanted to do with his life,” said his mother, Theda Tawney.
So when Tawney, 25, joined the Corps five years ago, his work ethic quickly distinguished him, and he won several awards.
But his life was cut short Oct. 16 when he was conducting combat operations and killed when an improvised explosive device blew up in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.
Friends and family remember Tawney as a devoted husband, a loyal friend and an avid outdoorsman.
“It’s hard when you’ve lost somebody and you try to define who they were,” said his father, John Tawney.
Tawney was soon to be a father himself. His wife, Ashley, is expecting a baby girl in January.
“He was honored to be a member of the Marine Corps,” his father said. Among Tawney’s numerous awards are the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Medal and Navy Unit Commendation.
“Even though he didn’t like to call attention to himself, he was a natural leader,” his mother said.
Tawney fought in Iraq in 2007. He served with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Tawney was the 10th Marine from his battalion to be killed in 10 days. Tawney was the 26th Oregonian to die in the Afghanistan conflict.
Tawney was a top student in squad leader school, and he graduated as the honor man of his class, his father said. He had wanted to make the Marines his career.
“He just knew what he wanted in his life, and he went for it,” his mother said. “He was a man of great integrity.”
His wife described him as outgoing and full of life. He loved hunting, snowboarding and riding motorcycles.
“He loved to laugh,” Ashley Tawney said. The two met in preschool and stayed friends throughout high school. Finally, when both of them were working at a retirement facility, they began dating. Tawney was excited about the arrival of their daughter.
“It’s going to be a real blessing to have a part of him through her,” Theda Tawney said.
In addition to his parents and his wife, Tawney is survived by his brothers, Shayne Chandler and Jacob Tawney, and sisters Stacy Barham, Karin Lamberton and Karla Cowan; and his grandmothers, Leona Smith and Kathryn Tawney.