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Marine Capt. Tyler B. Swisher

Died October 21, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

35, of Cincinnati, Ohio; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; killed Oct. 21 when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations against enemy forces near Amariyah, Iraq. His vehicle was traveling beside a canal when the attack occurred and he was thrown from the vehicle into the water. Also killed was Cpl. Benny G. Cockerham III.

Swisher remembered as a ‘Marine’s Marine’

By Dan Sewell, The Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Capt. Tyler B. Swisher, who put in extra effort to become a successful student and then a U.S. Marine officer, was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq, the Defense Department said Wednesday.

Swisher, 35, of Cincinnati, was killed last Friday in Al Anbar Province, military officials said. Cpl. Gray Cockerham III of North Carolina also was killed by the explosion that threw them from their vehicle into a canal, where remains were eventually recovered as fighting continued in the area.

Swisher, the 94th Ohioan killed in the Iraq war, is survived by a wife and three children who live in the Camp Lejeune, N.C., area. His parents live in eastern Cincinnati.

“I’ve always heard that expression ‘a Marine’s Marine.’ That was Tyler Swisher,” said Jack Buchholz, a longtime family friend serving as the family’s spokesman. He and Tyler’s father, David, were teachers in the suburban Indian Hill school system.

“He overcame a lot of obstacles. He had to work extra hard,” said Buchholz.

He said Swisher had a learning disability and spent hours on his studies, but kept improving and made the honor roll his senior year. Small while in high school, he was on the football team his senior year at Mariemont but rarely got into games.

He went on to earn a biology degree from Butler University in Indianapolis, then decided to enlist in the Marines in 1993.

He trained for six months just to make sure he was ready for boot camp, Buchholz said, working construction, running miles each day and climbing a 20-foot rope to gain strength.

He worked his way up to officer’s commission in 1997, and was a company commander for the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, with 200 Marines in his command. Buchholz said Swisher was in his third tour of Iraq duty.

He and his wife Stephanie bought a home in North Carolina this year, Buccholz said. He leaves behind daughters Ashleigh, 15, and Madison, 7, and a 5-year-old son, Jacob.

His parents, David and Mary Beth, were notified Monday night.

Memorial services will be scheduled later, with burial to follow in Arlington National Cemetery.


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