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Marine Capt. Jesse Melton III

Died September 9, 2008 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

29, of Randallstown, Md.; assigned to Headquarters Battery, 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan; died Sept. 9 in Afghanya Valley, Afghanistan, while supporting combat operations. Also killed was 1st Lt. Nicholas A. Madrazo.

Marine Capt. Jesse Melton III remembered

The Associated Press

After attending boot camp at Parris Island, Jesse Melton III’s family instantly saw a change.

“It literally changed his life,” said his younger sister, Jenine Melton, a captain in the U.S. Army. “He used to be very messy — the way, most of the time, boys’ rooms aren’t so neat. But when I went to see him in Parris Island, you could bounce a quarter off his bed.”

Melton, 29, of Randallstown, Md., was killed Sept. 9 during combat operations in Parwan province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Kaneohe Bay.

After graduating from high school in 1996 — he played lacrosse and baseball — Melton attended Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., where he studied communications and graduated in 2000.

“He would say, ‘I am willing to take a bullet for my country and my men,’” said Melton’s mother, Janice Chance. “‘If I need to give my life for my Marines, I will take a bullet for them.’”

Melton was always concerned with helping others, said his family. He always tried to lead by example, and he always looked for the good in everyone. “He would say that if I can save one person that would be worth it,” Chance said.

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