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Marine Capt. Richard J. Gannon II

Died April 17, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

31, of Escondido, Calif.; assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, at Twentynine Palms, Calif.; killed April 17 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

Escondido Marine killed in Iraq was ‘an exemplary leader’

Associated Press

ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Richard Gannon got an e-mail from his son Friday, promising a safe return home from Iraq.

“He just told me that he was fine and that it was difficult task that he was asked to this time, but that he would get through it and come back safe and sound,” Gannon said.

The Department of Defense said Tuesday that Richard J. Gannon II, 31, was one of four Marines killed in action over the weekend in Al Anbar province. All four were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms.

Gannon was born and raised in the north San Diego suburb of Escondido, his father said. He attended Cornell University on a Navy scholarship, graduating in 3" years with a double major in political science and history. He attended the Naval Academy for advanced leadership courses.

He accepted a commission as a Marine officer on Jan. 13, 1995. His latest assignment was company commander of the 3rd Battalion’s Lima Company.

“He was a very goal-oriented person, but he matured beyond achievement,” his father said. “He was an exemplary leader ... When he was with you, he was present, which is a very rare quality with young people.”

Gannon, who has been recommended for a Purple Heart, participated in last year’s capture of Baghdad. He returned to Iraq in February.

“Nobody wants to push their luck, but he was seasoned, he was experienced, and those are the people we need on the front lines doing the job,” his father said. “Those are the people who know how to do it.”

In addition to his father, Gannon is survived by his wife, Sally, four children ages 2 to 12 — Connor, Patrick, Richard III and Maria — and his mother, Theresa, all of Escondid

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